Grocery store, shopping – illustration photo.
Prague – The Chamber of Deputies will discuss food prices on the initiative of ANO next Wednesday afternoon. An extraordinary meeting on Thursday, March 8 from 4:00 p.m. was called by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Markéta Pekarová Adamová (TOP 09). Its spokesperson Martin Churavý informed about it. This is already the fourth extraordinary meeting that ANO MPs have recently initiated. On Friday, on their initiative, the Speaker of the House convened two meetings, namely on the availability of certain medicines and on the proposal to freeze the salaries of top politicians for five years. The date of their commencement will depend in particular on the progress of the current extraordinary meeting convened at the initiative of coalition MPs regarding the controversial government bill on the reduction of the June valorization of pensions.
Next Wednesday, the MPs will first have a regular meeting and at it the approval of the government draft law on Czech Television and Czech Radio, which primarily changes the selection of members of the councils of both public media. An extraordinary meeting is called for the afternoon from 15:00 on the proposal of the ANO movement to increase the parental allowance by a third. The ANO movement proposed that the parental allowance amount to 400,000 crowns.
Food prices are among the frequent topics of the parliamentary opposition. Attention was drawn to a post by the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Karel Havlíček (ANO), on social networks, where he compared the price of lecho according to the prices of raw materials during the current government of Petr Fiala (ODS) and the prices during the government of Andrej Babiš (ANO) in 2021. He found that the current lecho is 2.5 times more expensive.
According to Eurostat, domestic food prices rose by 27.2 percent last year, and the Czech Republic was the sixth in the EU in terms of food price increases. According to the Food Chamber, there is currently no room for reducing food prices due to the ever-increasing costs of production and processing enterprises. The Chamber believes that food prices could rise slightly this year and gradually stabilize in the second half of the year.
The President of the Trade and Tourism Association of the Czech Republic, Tomáš Prouza, is of the opinion that if the government wants to reduce food prices, it must propose reduce VAT and examine the market power of supply chains. Prouza denies that food price increases are caused by retail chains by increasing their margins.
Minister of Agriculture Zdeněk Nekula (KDU-ČSL) filed a complaint with the Office for the Protection of Economic Competition due to the significant increase in the price of sugar in stores. He wants it to check its significant increase in price last fall. He turned to the Czech Trade Inspection because of the discount campaigns when selling sugar.