Brazil government to monitor World Cup price hikes

Sao Paulo: The Brazilian government has responded to fears that hoteliers and airlines are jacking up prices ahead of next year`s soccer World Cup by creating a commission to monitor price hikes and abuses.

"The government won`t tolerate any kind of abuse," Interior Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo said. "We have mechanisms to prevent it and we will be taking appropriate action."

But Cardozo did not say what action the government might take and his colleagues admitted they will not set prices.

The move comes just a week after a Brazilian newspaper reported that during the World Cup some airlines were charging more than $1,000 dollars for the 50-minute flight between the country`s two biggest cities, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

The government`s own tourist agency said hotel prices in Rio de Janeiro, where the World Cup final will take place on July 13 next year, would be more than twice that of Johannesburg, host city of the 2010 final.

The World Cup takes place in 12 Brazilian cities next June and July.

Several recent studies have rated Brazil as one of the most expensive countries in the world, with prices of everything from jeans to ipads to tomatoes significantly more costly than in Europe and the United States.

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