Wednesday

24th Jan 2018

Euro zone shoppers still set in national ways

If you haven't started your Christmas shopping yet, you might be interested to learn that, despite the launch of the euro, the price of a product in one EU member state can be as much as 40 percent higher or lower than the EU average.

But shoppers in the EU are failing to snap up these potential bargains in other countries, a new poll has shown.

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Only 12 percent of consumers in the EU have bought goods or services from retailers in other EU countries in the past year, a new Eurobarometer survey, published today, has demonstrated.

This is a slight decline from last year, when the figure was 13 percent.

Maybe as a result of its geographical location and size, shoppers in Luxembourg were most liable to shop abroad, with 48 percent of consumers looking beyond the Grand Duchy for their bargains.

By contrast, a mere three percent of Spaniards have bought goods outside Spain.

The euro has not helped cross-border shopping, with only 15 percent of those asked saying that the single currency made them more interested in shopping outside their national borders.

Other barriers to cross-border bargain hunting are linguistic divides and the lack of cross-border advertising.

The European Commission today bemoaned the lack of progress in cross-border shopping.

Consumer Commissioner David Bryne said, "a competitive European economy needs consumers who are willing to shop across national borders".

"We need a fully functioning Internal Market in which consumers feel as comfortable buying e.g. from a website in another Member State as they do buying from their local corner store".

EU states loosen grip on tax havens

Finance ministers removed eight entities from the tax havens blacklist, while ruling out more transparency or sanctions - prompting criticism from tax-campaigning NGOs such as Oxfam.

Greece and creditors prepare bailout exit

Greece's creditors agreed to unblock €6.7 billion of new aid by April and to open debt-relief talks, ahead of the end of the programme in August.

German coalition deal aims for 'Macron-lite' EU renewal

Merkel and Schulz clear the first hurdle of coalition talks, but the SPD's full membership backing is still needed. The likely coalition parties express support for Macron's eurozone reform ideas, but remain cautious.

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