Food prices in Iceland are 62 percent higher than the average food prices in western and southern Europe, in the 15 countries that belong to the “old” EU, according to new numbers from Eurostat, the EU Bureau of Statistics.
Also according to Eurostat, the total expenses of homes in Iceland are 46 percent higher than what the average is in these 15 EU countries, excluding the “new” EU countries which became members in 2007 and 2006. Morgunbladid reports.
Eurostat concluded that food prices are higher in Iceland than in any other European country. They are also higher than in Norway and Switzerland, which are not members of the EU either.
In terms of food prices, Norway rates second with 52 percent above average and Switzerland third with 40 percent. Denmark has the highest food prices within the “old” EU, 30 percent above the average.
Andrés Magnússon, manager of the Federation of Icelandic Trade, told Morgunbladid that the main explanation for such high food prices in Iceland is the high price of agricultural products.
Magnússon said that if Iceland wants to lower the price of food, the tariffs on imported agricultural products designed to protect Icelandic farmers have to be cut.
Sigurdur Jónsson, manager of the Federation of Trade and Services agrees. He also believes that the small size of the Icelandic market and the isolation of the country are further reasons for high food prices in Iceland.
Food prices in Iceland are set to be reduced as of March 1, 2007.