The Hellenic Ministry of Development imposed fines of 1 million euros on Johnson & Johnson Hellas and 672,000 euros on Colgate-Palmolive Hellas for illegal profiteering.

The new penalties come a week after major consumer product players Procter & Gamble Hellas and Elais-Unilever Hellas received a total of 2 million euros in fines for the same reason.

The government started their crusade against profiteering companies late in September with a 230,000 euro fine on stationary titan BIC for selling school products at a profit margin far above that permitted by law.

The Ministry’s Interagency for Market Control (DIMEA) has conducted almost 20,000 inspections this year and imposed more than 1,500 fines (amounting to 4,348,000 euros), primarily on companies selling cleaning, hygiene and essential household products above the gross profit margin cap.

Four more multinational corporations and 10-15 Greek companies are currently under review.

Almost 70% of the fines imposed have already been collected or verified with the tax authorities for collection.

Minister of Development Kostas Skrekas stressed, “It has now been made clear to all parties that such violations will not be tolerated. Our staff will continue to conduct constant inspections, and wherever irregularities are found, fines will be imposed without exception. Our government is determined to tackle profiteering at its root and strengthen the natural operation of the market in every possible way, allowing healthy competition for the benefit of households and all our fellow citizens.”

The Ministry’s actions form part of a wide-ranging government campaign against inflation and rising prices. The ‘permanent price reduction’ initiative is a key part of the endeavor; it calls on companies to commit to reducing the price of hundreds of products by at least 5 percent for no less than 6 months.