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Wednesday 18.07.2018 | Name days: Rozālija, Roze
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By rounding prices in Euro, the zoo, theatres and museums would violate the law

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Аuthor: SXCRiga Zoological garden as well as Latvian theatres and museums could potentially violate the Euro Transition Law. This may be possible because of the plans of these institutions to keep to a rounded ticket price strategy, having them rounded after the currency transition. Some prices could be lowered, others – increased.

The Latvian Finance Ministry, however, does not support this kind of calibration – it would not help with the overall transparency of price-forming factors. The Consumers Rights Protection Centre is even prepared to fine the institutions, De Facto programme of LTV reports.

Entrance to Riga Zoo costs 4 LVL for adults. According to a precise rate, it should be 5.69 EUR. However, the management of the Zoo wants to round the price to 6 EUR. This would make the adult ticket price 0.20 LVL more expensive for adults. The management plans to balance this by lowering the ticket price for children. The management explains that the rounding is meant for convenience. Nearly 300 thousand people visit the zoo every year. They mostly pay in cash. “The counting process creates queues. This increases the waiting time”, – Riga Zoological garden Board Member Edgars Vitols says.

This plan is at risk. The law about Euro adoption does not allow price rounding. Rounding is only allowed to the nearest thousand: if the price of the service is 5 LVL and the Euro rate is 0.702804, the price is 7.1143591 EUR. The thousandth is 4, so it is to be rounded down. Therefore, the price should be 7.11 EUR.

This manner of winding prices is looked up by theatres and museums as well. The Culture Ministry supports this. For example, the National Theatre allows that price rounding could increase the audience in the first rows. The audience in the last rows could reduce.

It is not yet officially known how Rigas satiksme will be addressing the problem. Out of all the state interviewed municipal companies only Latvian State Forests said it will be planning its actions in accordance with the law.

Manager of Finance Ministry’s Euro adoption project Dace Kalsone explains that the goal of the law is to clarify the order. “We need to use precise mathematics specifically to make sure prices do not go up. In Estonia, for example, people say they feel much safer if they see the hundredths”, – Kalsone explains.

Both the Finance Ministry and the Consumers Rights Protection Centre admit that Latvia has an open market: prices cannot be regulated, and if the businessman wants, he can increase prices at any moment.

Ref: 102.109.109.7344


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