ATHENS, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- The "household basket" measure of lower-priced staple goods launched by the Greek government in early November to cushion the impact of inflation has proven beneficial to consumers, Development and Investments Minister Adonis Georgiadis said here on Thursday.
"Stable prices in an environment with about 10 percent inflation rate is already a very significant contribution," he told journalists during a visit to a store of one of the supermarket chains participating in the initiative in central Athens.
"We said it would be a difficult winter, but we are doing everything we can to make it easier for the public," he said.
Under an agreement with the government, Greece's major supermarket chains offer at least 51 essential goods at low prices to meet the citizens' daily needs.
The "household basket," which is updated on a weekly basis, includes everything from bread, flour, eggs, meat, fish, spaghetti, beverages, dairy products, toilet paper and baby formulas to pet food.
The prices of the products included in the basket are lower than those off the list.
Consumers can browse these products and their prices at each supermarket on the ministry's website and identify them on supermarket shelves by a special label.
According to the ministry's website, out of 816 products included in the basket this week, prices were reduced for 167 items, increased for 60 and remained unchanged for 589 compared to the previous week, while the overall decline in prices was 18.1 percent.
The initiative, which will run throughout the winter, has triggered competition, and reduced or stable prices now also apply to products that are not included in the basket, Georgiadis said. (1 euro= 1.04 U.S. dollar) ■