Nearly one year after the introduction of the euro, Spanish consumer watchdogs are criticising the administration for failing to provide sufficient controls against the trend to round prices up when converting from pesetas. The hotel and food sectors have been accused of being the worst offenders. Certainly, every time I look at my supermarket bill, I go into a state of shock - I am referring to my basic shopping list, not the spur of the moment buys or ‘this is too good a bargain to miss' items. It is now much higher than before, even taking into account inflation. One watchdog organisation claims that 1.3 of the inflation rate (now running at nearly four per cent) is due to the impact of the euro on prices. Spokesman Antonio López said that the inflation rate would not be so high if prices had not been rounded up, and he said that the government had failed to take the steps it promised to prevent this from happening. He also accused the government of failing to practice what it preaches, as it raised transport and postal charges: the cost of a registered letter, for example, has doubled. The same spokesman said that milk had gone up by eight per cent, bread by 6.7 per cent, fruit and vegetables by 6.4 per cent and charcuterie by 4.9 per cent. Juan Aguado of the powerful OCU watchdog said that proving the euro had been to blame for the rise in inflation was difficult , as the way of calculating it has been changed. And when the Euro Observatory was asked to introduce controls, the answer was no, arguing that Spain enjoys freedom of prices.