Fancy a beer for more than twice the price?

By Charlotte Eyre

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cent, European union, Bulgaria

In 2006, the price of beverages was on average two and a half
times more in the most expensive EU country than in the
cheapest, according to a Eurostat report.

The report demonstrates that prices across the Europe still vary widely, despite a common currency, and that the EU has a long way to go before prices stabilise. The price of an alcoholic drink varies a massive 112 per cent depending on which country it is purchased in, according to the report. The most expensive countries are Ireland, where the price of a beer is 81 per cent higher than the average, followed by Finland, 70 per cent higher, and the UK, 52 per cent higher, the report stated. At the other end of the scale, Eurostat analysts found that the cheapest alcoholic beverages are sold in Bulgaria, where they are 31 per cent cheaper than average, Slovakia, 28 per cent cheaper, and Hungary, 23 per cent cheaper. Prices of non-alcoholic drink vary almost as much, being 86 per cent dearer in the most expensive country than in the cheapest, the report states. The most expensive countries for non-alcoholic beverages are Denmark, 42 per cent higher than the EU average, Ireland, where they are 25 per cent higher, and Finland, 20 per cent higher. Similarly to the alcoholic beverages market, several eastern European countries are also the cheapest for non-alcoholic drinks. In Lithuania non-alcoholic beverages are 36 per cent cheaper than the average, and the cheapest country is Bulgaria, where a soft drink is a massive 44 per cent lower in price. Costs in Eastern European EU27 countries are in fact more similar to other countries in the Eastern Europe geographical area that are not EU members, according to the Eurostat analysts. The report shows that drinks in Bulgaria are actually cheaper than in Albania, Montenegro and Serbia. For example, an alcoholic beverage is 27 per cent more expensive in Albania than in Bulgaria, seven per cent more expensive in Montenegro and four per cent more expensive in Serbia. The report also states that prices in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, which belong to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), are much more expensive than in the EU27 countries. In Iceland, alcoholic beverages leave consumers 126 per cent more out of pocket than the EU27 average, and a non-alcoholic drink will cost them 64 per cent more. The results were collected by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European communities, and come from the survey "Eating, drinking and smoking - comparative price levels in 37 European countires in 2006."

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