From 1 January to 28 February 2002, the euro and the lira circulated together. Then from 1 March 2002 the lira definitively lost its legal tender. 20 years have passed since then and they have been crisscrossed by much controversy over the price increases caused by the arrival of the euro. But by how much have goods and services increased? And what has risen the most?
The answer is revealed by a survey conducted by the Consumerismo Non Profit consumer association and by the Research and Study Center of “Alma Laboris Business School”, a company specializing in Masters and Advanced Training and Specialization Courses for professionals, which compared prices of a basket of 100 items between goods and services, analyzing the differences between the retail price lists in force at the time of the lira and those today.
Thus it turns out that the prices of some goods have even tripled in the last 20 years: this is the case of the ice cream cone which in 2001 cost 1,500 lire (0.77 euros), while today it is sold in ice cream parlors for an average of 2.50 euros ( + 224.7%). A simple ballpoint pen has undergone an increase of + 207.7%, passing from the old 500 lire (0.26 euros) to 0.80 euros.
More expensive to eat out. “The classic margherita consumed in a pizzeria has undergone an increase of + 93.5%, the supplì has increased by almost 124%, and the sandwich at the bar even by + 198.7% – explain Consumerismo and Alma Laboris Business School – Breakfast at the bar (cappuccino and croissant) it costs 93.3% more, while the coffee break is more salty by 55.2% (however in recent days the price lists of public establishments are undergoing upward adjustments due to expensive bills) “.
The study explains that with the transition to the single currency the habits of Italians have also changed: if in 2001 the minimum tip at the restaurant was 1,000 lire per person, today on average 2 euros are left on the table (+ 284.6%).
Bad news also on the transport front: in addition to petrol, whose prices at the pump have more than doubled compared to 2001, today it costs more to take the bus, with the ticket that for example in Milan has gone from 1,500 lire (0, 77 euros) to the current 2 euros (+ 159.7%). Buying a car? For a compact car, 10,300 euros were enough in 2001, today the cost (without incentives and scrapping) is around 16,150 euros for a small medium-class car.
«The situation is better for hygiene and personal care products: for shampoos, deodorants, shaving foam, diapers, toilet paper, toothbrushes, shower gels, the increases are below + 50%. But – Consumerismo and Alma Laboris warn – more is spent to fill the pantry at home: for food products, among those that have undergone the highest price increases we find biscuits (+ 159%), tomato puree (+ 148%), cocoa (+ 143%), salt (+ 134%), olive oil (+ 114%), eggs (+ 103%) “.
“In addition to prices, compared to the times of the lira, the salaries received by Italians have also changed, rising compared to the past, but at a slower rate – says the director of Alma Laboris Business School, Dario Numerooso – If in 2001 the average salary gross of a worker was around 19,500 euros per year, today it is around 29,300 euros, with a growth of + 50.2% in 20 years “.