Why Are Apple So Expensive In Europe?

Is there a particular reason that Apple are so expensive in Europe? I’d been reading through a US published magazine (whose name eludes me now) that featured an article on Apple forsaking their European market, then a day later when I hit the Apple Store at the Eaton Centre I was offered a copy of of Microsoft Office (for the Mac) for a price around EUR 250 only to find that when you look at the Irish Apple store online, the same copy is EUR 499. Whats the craic there?

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