Sunday

24th Jun 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".

Greece and creditors proclaim 'end of crisis'

After late-night talks, the Eurogroup agreed on a €15bn disbursement and debt relief measures for Greece, while setting out a tight monitoring when the bailout ends in August.

Greek bailout exit takes shape

At a meeting next week, eurozone finance ministers and the IMF are expected to agree on new cash, debt relief measures, and a monitoring mechanism to ensure that Greece can live without international aid for the first time since 2010.

Analysis

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On the day it outlined its reaction to US tariffs on steel and aluminium, the EU commission also launched a case against China on property rights - an issue on which EU and US are working hand-in-hand.

Opinion

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The EU should not overuse the financial system in order to achieve environmental goals, or it risks the emergence of a green bond bubble which would be detrimental to the financial sector and hinder the achievement of climate targets.

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Eurozone needs institutional reform

Both the examples of Greece and Italy test the limits of a system with inherent weaknesses that feeds internal gaps, strengthens deficits and debts in the European South, and surpluses in the European North respectively.

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