The skewed commercial practice of hiking the prices of products on supermarket shelves due to inflation, while at the same time reducing the weight of the content of many food packages, which was highlighted in a front-page report of Ta Nea on Monday, constitutes an exceptionally serious dysfunction of the market at a time when the income of all Greek households has been greatly reduced.

We are dealing with clear-cut price gouging practices, and the volume of citizens’ complaints is growing every day.

Consumers are displeased, disgusted, and angry with what they see every time they go shopping.

Therefore, the state at long last must intervene.

Creating electronic platforms for the submission of complaints regarding commercial violations is a good measure, so that one can see in real time the overall picture of cases of price gouging.

That alone, however, does not suffice to combat the phenomenon.

Oversight authorities have a duty to exhaust their ability to respond strictly and to impose fines in order to stop the swindling of consumers.

Inspections without imposing fines are not inspections. They give those who price gouge at their customers’ expense the impression that they can continue with such practices without paying the price, metaphorically and literally.