Public Affairs Networking
Schadenfreude: It’s only money

The man or woman in the street might think that with a single currency prices would converge, writes Schadenfreude, our secret columnist in Brussels.

By and large branded goods cost about the same wherever, especially under national publicity marketing and apart from special promotions. Some products, especially seasonal, are locally priced. Variations then arise from availability, transport and other marketing costs.

In euroland the euro in your pocket does not have the same purchasing power wherever you use it. The Big Mac index shows what can happen. The average cost in the euro monetary union is 4.86 euros. The range is from 5.36 in Belgium to 3.80 in Estonia. Vive la différence.

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