17 March 2014 12:46

Have you ever wondered about the value of the euro you are spending on essential commercial goods? If not, perhaps you should be considering what the same price would be in the equivalent Cyprus pounds.
Six years ago Cyprus joined the Eurozone and all our payments for goods and services ar carried out exclusively in euros, a price comparison study shows that we do not yet fully comprehend prices in euro.
Moreover, we have still to get used to the new currency. Because if we had, we would certainly be protesting about how bad the situation has become.
As salaries are being trimmed to within an inch of their life and the number of unemployed people grows, the prices of consumer goods have not only remained stable but some have actually increased.
And unfortunately, if we don’t readjust the prices we pay in euro today to our familiar Cypriot pound, we appear to be unable to understand whether or not a product is overpriced.
When it comes to fuel prices, the cost of petrol has increased by 50% while the increase for diesel and heating oil is over 80%.
The huge increase over the years in the price of a 10kg gas cylinder is also worrying as they are being sold for €14.16 instead of the equivalent of €7.90 they were being sold for in 2008.
This represents a 79% change in price for a product that is being used in almost every household.
This has especially become true over recent years as people turn to gas for their heating needs.
Many, in their effort to save money, are also using gas to heat their bath water.
We are also paying more for bread and milk, products that are essential for every home, at prices that are 17%-22% more expensive today compared to 2008 prices when the costs for essential items was lower.
We are also paying out a lot for dairy products with the price of halloumi shooting up by 34%, the price of other cheeses by 25% and the price of butter by 50%.
When it comes to the price of meat though, with the exception of chicken which has become far more expensive, prices have fallen. This applies to both pork and beef to a significant degree although there has been a small increase in the price of lamb and goat.
Another series of products that consumers have turned to in the crisis in an attempt to feed their family within a strict budget has also shown large increases. Specifically, the price of pasta has risen by 30%.
Flour is 47% more expensive as is pourgouri (bulgur wheat) and the cereals old and young enjoy for breakfast.
We paid ₤0.45 for 500g of spaghetti in 2008 and now spend €1 on it.
When it comes to cereals, from ₤1.35, we now pay €3.06 which is the equivalent of ₤1.79.
We are also paying more for alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and water. A 700ml bottle of Zivania used to cost ₤4.57 while we today shell out €11.41 which is the equivalent of ₤6.68.
The price of beer has increased by 26% while soft drinks are 12% more expensive and water 19% more costly.
In addition, whoever buys fish would likely be surprised if they adjusted the euro prices to Cyprus pounds and realise just how much more they are paying.
A kilo of marida (smelt) used to cost ₤3.65 while today we shell out €8 which is worth ₤4.68, showing a 28% increase.
Fruits and vegetables may be seasonal but their price differences fluctuate significantly when you compare the same products during the same time period.
For example for beans that would have cost ₤0.94, we now pay the equivalent of ₤2.07 when we hand over our €3.54 at the cash register.
Tomatoes and cucumbers show a price drop of 22% and 19% respectively when comparing today’s prices to 2008 but there has been a large price increase of 39% for Gala apples.
The price of new potatoes on the other hand has fallen with us paying less than a euro instead of the Cyprus pounds we would have spent per kilo, with a drop of 46%.


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