Supermarket giant Carrefour was accused of short-changing consumers with its 30 article/30 euro food basket aimed at helping families with the cost of living crisis.

It was launched following an appeal by the Spanish government and unveiled this morning but the basket fails to include milk, olive oil, eggs, vegetables, fish and meat....the articles which have most risen in price as a result of the cost of living crisis.

French retailer Carrefour - the second-largest grocery chain in Spain after dominant Mercadona - said it hoped to bolster the purchasing power of Spanish families. The exclusive basket include tinned food, pasta, oil and coffee among other products.

The main employers' association, the CEOE, denounced Carrefour's move as "soviet," while Spain's agriculture minister, a member of coalition leader Socialist Party (PSOE), said under European law, price interventions could only be adopted in regulated markets. The agri-food sector has called for a food tax reduction.

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Inflation hit 10.3% in August in Spain. In July, flour marked a price rise of almost 40%, and pasta, eggs or milk exceeded price increases of 22%.

Carrefour and Diaz will meet on Thursday, and Diaz will meet retailers' associations and consumer groups on Monday.

In August, Carrefour said it was freezing the price of 100 products in France, from tinned sardines to rice and washing up liquid.

Spain's government has already committed 30 billion euros to measures aimed at high energy costs such as with fuel rebates and VAT reductions for gas and electricity.

In June, Spain capped the price of gas used to produce electricity, a move now being studied for replication in the rest of the bloc's countries.