Bratislava, April 12 (TASR) – Up to 83 percent of Slovaks consider double standards in quality to be a problem, and as many as 57 percent of Slovaks prefer a higher price and at the same time better quality, Vice-premier and Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Gabriela Matecna (a Slovak National Party/SNS nominee) told a briefing on Thursday.
Milan Lapsansky, the ministry’s foods and trade department general director and SNS caucus head Tibor Bernatak were in attendance at the briefing, which was held in connection with the fact that the European Commission (EC) presented a proposal to include double standards in quality among unfair commercial practices on Wednesday (April 11).
Matecna also said that in cooperation with experts from Slovakia the EC is preparing testing methodology to determine how products will be tested. “This methodology should be presented by the EC next month, and then we’ll begin to carry out tests in coordination with other countries concerned. Our aim is to ensure that the quality of the products is the same so that Slovak consumers don’t feel like second-category consumers,” stated Matecna.
According to Lapsansky, Slovakia was one of the most important actors in the fight against double standards in food quality in the EU. “The old EU countries don’t know about such an amoral attitude among some producers towards their consumers, it’s a completely different culture,” he said. However, the double standards don’t only concern food, but also cosmetics, building materials and other goods.
“We’ll definitely transpose EC proposals into our national legislation to ensure that there’s no category of second-rate citizens and that double standards in quality disappear from our vocabularies,” added Lapsansky.
European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Vera Jourova said that the European Commission’s legislative package, presented on Wednesday (April 11) under the title ‘New Deal for Consumers’, is aimed at avoiding collective lawsuits and also introduces tighter legislation on double-quality goods. The new rules also introduce the possibility of high fines for fraudulent companies.