EU slashes roaming charges

dubrovnikThe EU just got a bit bigger. Croatia entered the fold at midnight, just in time for the summer holiday season – which is economically vital for the new EU member. Good thing, then, travelling in the EU just got cheaper with roaming caps in place cost cutting on all networks and services, effective Monday.

Prices for outgoing calls are down 17 percent, receiving calls is 12 percent cheaper, while texting is 11 percent cheaper.

“The EU has to be relevant to people’s lives. The latest price cuts put more money in your pocket for summer, and are a critical step towards getting rid of these premiums once and for all. This is good for both consumers and companies, because it takes fear out of the market, and it grows the market,” said European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes.

We have to say it’s good news for tourists interesting in visiting Croatia, as this charming little country has a huge, picturesque coastline, more than a thousand islands and just as many varieties of red wine.

Geeks will be happy to learn that data charges have been cut 36 percent to 45 eurocents per megabyte of traffic, but even that’s pretty pricey by today’s standards. Although data roaming is now 91 percent cheaper than in 2007, there is still a long way to go.

However, it’s not like there’s not much progress and the case of Croatia illustrates this best. This year, visitors to Croatia will enjoy spectacular savings as the cost for data decreases almost 15 times and sending a SMS or making a phone call elsewhere in the EU will be 10 times cheaper.

The aforementioned red wine, usually made from autochthonous Plavac Mali grapes, will still be relatively cheap, just north of 10 euro for export grade quality stuff in Dalmatia, Croatia’s wine country. Cheaper varieties, which aren’t bad at all, go for as little as 3 to 4 euro. Spirit lovers are well catered for with a wide variety of grape brandies. We recommend good homemade Travarica, spiced with a selection of very aromatic Mediterranean herbs.