Varrak: Mistakes in displaying prices in two currencies are of concern

Yesterday, on August 10th, there was a meeting in the Ministry of Finance of the national changeover committee, where working groups accounted for their last activities.
11. 08. 2010

The chairman of the committee Tea Varrak announced that the preparations for conversion to euro are advancing as planned. “After ECOFIN’s last decision on July 13th the remaining distrustful people should now be convinced that euro is coming and it’ll be at the correct exchange right. No one should have excuses for delaying the preparations now,” Varrak said. “We can be satisfied with the preparations in departments of administration. Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs and ARIB have also assured the committee that the development of their IT-systems will be completed on November 1st, 2010, by the latest, as promised,” Varrak said. “The situation of small enterprises is somewhat less certain because many of them have left their preparations to the second half-year and might therefore find themselves short of time,” she added.

One important topic that the committee discussed was displaying prices in two currencies that became mandatory as of July 1st, 2010. “Unfortunately not all commercial enterprises have been able to completely follow the governmental instructions and in the course of inspection by the Consumer Protection Board several different violations, including using an incorrect exchange rate when displaying prices, have come to attention,” Tea Varrak said. The Consumer Protection Board has promised to have an even stricter approach to the violations and, if necessary, fine ill-disposed violators. “The purpose for displaying prices in two currencies is to give people the time and opportunities to get used to euro, and it is very regrettable that some commercial enterprises confuse people instead of helping them due to lucrative interests,” Varrak emphasized and harbored the hope that the situation improves.

The fair pricing agreement campaign that begins in the beginning of August also concentrates on the correct parallel displaying of prices and preventing price increase. Enterprises affiliated with the agreement take upon themselves an obligation to avoid price increase without an economic reason, thereby preventing the acceleration of inflation and helping to raise the consumers’ confidence.

A series of euro exhibitions will kick off on the third week of August. The first exhibition opens on August 18th in Astri center in Narva. Guides speaking in Estonian and Russian assist visitors, euro-themed seminars take place on-site and a euro-themed competition will be held in nearby schools.

The next meeting of national changeover committee will take place on September 14th.