Among the examples the MPs gave were:
- Media Markt, a german technology retailer, sells the Nokia Lumia 920 mobile telephone for €499, when in Germany it sells the same product for €309.
- Ikea, a furniture and homeware retailer, prices the three-seat ‘Karlstad’ couch at €349, when in Germany it sells for €269.
- The ‘Aborg’ carpet, also an Ikea product, costs €49 in Greece and only €29.95 in the Netherlands.
Two government ministers responded to the MPs questions. Deputy finance minister George Mavraganis said that his ministry’s priority was “to conduct tax audits in all directions”. On the subject of transfer pricing between different company branches of the same group, operating in different countries, Mr. Mavraganis said that “a law has been enacted based on OECD guidelines” and that there are constant controls.
The deputy minister for development, Thanassis Skordas, said that according to the purchasing power parity index, the level of prices in Greece for total consumer spending as well as for for furniture and household wares, is below the average in 37 European countries. It’s a good thing the minister didn’t say that Greeks have the wrong priorities, as he had commented during a televised interview when asked why iPhones are so expensive in Greece.
There is a third answer which we will won’t learn now but in the future. The head of Greece’s Antitrust Commission, Dimitris Kyritsakis, told Syriza lawmakers that an investigation is under way regarding the whole cycle of production and distribution of basic consumer products.