Greece will fix a cap on gross profit margins on fuel, food and other consumer goods to help curb profiteering, its development ministry said, as Western sanctions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine boosted world prices of commodities.
January's annual consumer inflation of 6.2% was the highest in Greece in at least 21 years, spurred by energy costs as prices of oil, gas and wheat, among other commodities, have soared after the sanctions disrupted global supply chains.
Greece plans to legislate gross profit restrictions on goods or services essential for health, food, transport and safety that will kick in when the per unit margin exceeds the figure before last September, the ministry said in a statement.
"I don't want to tell people lies. The coming period won't be easy in terms of prices," development minister Adonis Georgiadis told Greek radio on Friday, pointing to a recent jump in oil and gas prices.
Step Up Inspections
Authorities will step up inspections and impose fines once they uncover profiteering, he added.
The measure, which will run until the end of June, also aims help counter the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on world markets, the ministry said.
World food prices rebounded in January and remained near 10-year highs, led by a jump in the vegetable oils index, according to data from the UN food agency said.
Higher food prices have contributed to a broader surge in inflation as economies recover from the coronavirus crisis and the FAO warned that the higher costs are putting poorer populations at risk in countries reliant on imports.