Those doomsayers who have been warning about resurgent inflation may have a point. To the consternation of European Parliament officials, the price of coffee has been increased in the Parliament's bars and cafeterias.
As always, one must make a distinction between the Parliament in Strasbourg and the Parliament in Brussels.
In Strasbourg, the price of coffee is unchanged: it remains at €1 a cup. But in Brussels, where the price has not moved since 1998 – ie, more than three elections ago – the price rose at the start of the year from €0.70 to €1, an increase of 32%.
That means that the Parliament is the most expensive of the three main EU institutions for a simple cup of coffee. The price at the European Commission is €0.99. The Council of Ministers has recently raised its price to €0.65, up from €0.61.
The price of fizzy drinks from the Parliament's machine dispensers has also increased, from €0.70 to €1.
On the other hand, the Parliament is still the easiest of the three institutions in which to get a free drink. There seems to be an endless round of receptions going on, and if you are particularly desperate for coffee or tea, you could always sit through a committee meeting, where the stewards pass along the desks dispensing caffeine in a brave bid to keep MEPs and other listeners awake.