Greece’s coalition government is at risk to drown in the controversial ‘fresh milk’ market reforms with at least five government MPs threatening to downvote the relevant provision. Two lawmakers from Samaras’ Nea Dimokratia and three from PASOK have repeatedly told media that they will not vote in favor of the law aiming to open the milk market under the pretext of extending the shelf life of fresh milk.
According to the rebel lawmakers, the milk reforms will destroy the small and medium milk producers.
With a thin majority of 153 seats in a Parliament of 300, ND-PASOK coalition would face a major blow when the controversial reform will be tabled for voting. The government needs at least 151 votes to pass a law.
The OECD has repeatedly suggested to Greece to extend the duration of fresh milk in order to lower the prices for consumers. However, extending the milk duration will open the Greek milk market for foreign multinational companies as it will give them more time for the milk transport. Greece’s lenders, the Troika, are in favor of opening the market.
The duration of fresh milk is planned to be extended from 4 days currently to up to 11 days with the necessary modification in homogenization process.
According to Eurostat data from 2011, the price in Greece of dairy produce -milk and – was 31.5 percent above the EU average in 2011, the highest in Europe.
Also two years ago, the milk prices were dramatically reduced from €0,50 to even €1 per liter at the super market shelf.
I personally remember to buy 1 liter of fresh milk 1.5% fat for €2 in 2008. three years later and after the outcry of the debt-ridden society, the price for milk from the same company went down to €1. During the last two months and due to several V.A.T. and ‘whatever’ price adjustments from the industry, milk prices went up again.
Price development for 1 liter Fresh Milk 1.5% fat
Greek dairy firms say they charge a fair price to milk producers and their sector is one of the least profitable due to high costs.
PS my cat suggested that the Greek Government would fall apart and early elections might be due just because the Troika and the OECD want Greek consumers to pay a couple of cents less for milk. But you know my cat… she has this tendency to weave the craziest scenarios…