In The EU: Bulgarians Spend The Most On Food After Romanians

EU |Author: Diana Kavardzhikova | February 14, 2024, Wednesday // 16:41|  views


Romanians and Bulgarians spend the largest part of their monthly income on food compared to the other countries in the European Union, with Romanians ranking first at 23.7 %, and Bulgarians following closely behind at second with 18.9%, indicate data from Eurostat for 2022, cited by the newspaper “Adevărul”. Following are the citizens of Slovakia and Lithuania (18%), Estonia, and Latvia (17.7%). At the other end of the spectrum are the Irish (7%), the citizens of Luxembourg (8.2%), and those of Austria (8.9%).

According to the economic analyst Adrian Negrescu, Romanians spend almost a quarter of their income on products in grocery stores not because they buy more, but because prices are higher.

“The incomes of Romanians are lower than those in Western Europe. If we compare the price-to-wage ratio in Germany, for example, we would pay less for food if we had their wages”, notes the expert for the newspaper “Adevărul”. According to him, Romanians buy basic foods, and the best-selling products are items such as margarine, potatoes, and rice.

”According to Eurostat data, food accounts for over 14 percent of household expenses, which is generally the case in countries with average and low wage incomes. Moreover, these countries are members of the former communist bloc. And we cannot help but ask ourselves whether in certain cases, there isn't also some exaggerated consumerism, precisely because of the deprivations many of us endured during the communist regime. Deprivations that have been sealed into our DNA, into our memory, causing us trauma, and now we are trying to forget them by buying”, comments sociologist Vladimir Ionash. He explains that Romanians strive to obtain the things they didn't have in the past, with a primary focus on food.

“Food is a very important aspect for us. Among the reasons, there is also a cultural component. We went through a period of shortage when we didn't have access to food, and then the richness of the table speaks to our social and financial status. This is particularly evident during holidays. If we have full tables, it means we are doing well”, notes sociologist Dan Petre.

The experts quoted in the newspaper “Adevărul” also comment on the government-imposed ceiling on the markup of basic products. They share the opinion that the measure, which came into effect on August 1 last year and was extended for another two months at the end of January this year, has failed to solve the problem with prices in stores.

Furthermore, we've reached an absurd situation where we're importing more basic food products to ensure consumption within the context of limiting the markup. We've incentivized imports rather than local production”, believes economic analyst Adrian Negrescu. According to him, a possible solution to the problem is to reduce VAT on basic food products following the example of countries like Poland and Portugal.

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Tags: Bulgarians, money, spend, Romanians, food


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