Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kein zucker!

The euro will soon be kaput, the dollar is doomed, the yuan is yet a preemie. What can a thoroughly thrifty Teuton turn to these days to store value? Sugar, that's what. And they want it all for themselves.

Pity then the poor Poles who have seen sugar prices rise by nearly 80% just from November to March. Sugar has become so expensive that even though sugar, jam and chocolate account for just 1.5% of the entire CPI inflation basket, they boosted overall inflation by some 0.2 percentage points in March. Annual inflation thus spiked to 4.3%, a roughly two-and-a-half-year high.

Fearing a sugar scarcity, some reports point to Poles stockpiling the stuff. But buying at a high cost doesn't seem the smartest move from an economic standpoint. So, what do Poles do? Take advantage of one of the EU's main fundamental freedoms: freedom of movement.

In Germany, an entrepreneurial Pole can buy a kilo of sugar for 65 euro cents. That's an amazing Schnappchen (bargain)! In the Land-of-Poles, a kilo of sugar runs anywhere from 1.25 euros to 1.70. Thus spake the "Polish sugar tourist," a new phenomenon seeing Poles flooding into Germany in the search of cheap white stuff.

Here's where German stinginess rears its ugly head. German food retailers Rewe, Lidl, Kaufland, Real and Tengelmann have all begun limiting sugar sales in a direct blow against the insipid Polish sugar tourist. To think, a single customer can now buy only 5-8 kilos a person.

That's a pittance. An outrage. I can't believe the injustice. Those bloody Germans . . . though, come to think of it, 8 kilos of sugar doesn't seem exactly minuscule, does it. In fact, that seems like quite a lot. What can one even do with 8 kilos of sugar? Let me check the internet . . . ahh, perfect: moonshine.

No comments:

Post a Comment