Latvia: Economy Minister opposes state intervention in food market

Latvia’s Economy Minister, Ilze Indriksone, said that the state should not intervene in the food market, LSM reports. Earlier, Agriculture Minister Didzis Smits insisted that market intervention was necessary due to the high food prices. He suggested establishing a special regulator to monitor food prices in shops. Indriksone agreed that Latvia’s large supermarket chains, Maxima and Rimi, had an oligopolistic status. However, she argued that consumers could bring prices down through their purchasing behaviour. Karlis Vilerts, economist at the Bank of Latvia, also said that consumers could “vote with their wallet,” warning that direct price controls could result in shortages.