5th Mar 2021

Costly Denmark, bargain Bulgaria: big variations in EU prices

  • Prices in Denmark were the highest in the whole of the EU (Photo: florriebassingbourn)

Prices for consumer goods and services vary by a factor of three across EU member states, with Denmark taking the gold medal for expensive shopping experiences.

Inhabitants of the non-euro-using country were charged an estimated 143 percent of the EU27 average in 2010, according to a report published by the EU's statistics office, Eurostat, on Tuesday (28 June).

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Fellow Scandinavian country, Finland, is the next most expensive EU member state on 123 percent of the EU average, followed by Luxembourg and Sweden (both 120 percent) and Ireland (118 percent).

Belgian citizens and eurocrats working in the frites-loving country paid 112 percent of the bloc's average prices last year, as did the French.

And despite the wallet-hurting reputation of London, the UK as a whole landed exactly in the middle (100 percent).

At the other end of the scale, the lowest prices last year were found in the EU's most recent arrivals - Bulgaria (51 percent) and Romania (59 percent) - with customers from the 2004 enlargement countries also enjoying below-average prices.

Irish citizens hoping to forget previous forays into the property and banking sectors will be alarmed to learn that the nation's alcohol and tobacco prices were a whopping 170 percent of the EU average last year, largely thanks to government tax.

On the other hand, drinkers and smokers in Bulgaria and Romania were able to savour the finer things in life at just 64 percent of the EU average price.

Clothing was one group of products showing the smallest price variation among EU countries, while restaurants and hotels varied considerably, with price levels ranging from 45 percent of the EU average in Bulgaria to 153 percent in Denmark.

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