Skip to comments.Greek Milk Costs More Than Anywhere Else In Europe As Suicide Rate Rises By 37%
Posted on 11/23/2012 5:18:31 AM PST by IbJensen
That Greek suicide rates have exploded over the past two years is very much expected: after all, in order to preserve the sanctity of the failed monetary status quo, the Greek economy and its less than prosperous population have been sacrificed by the legacy elite and the wealthy. The socio-economic collapse has resulted in a total crash in economic production of goods and services , an nosebleed-inducing unemployment rate which increasing at a mindboggling 1% per month , and the rise of neo-nazism, with the Golden Dawn party now the third most popular political organization in the country (and rising rapidly). Sure enough, Kathimerini has confirmed that the" Greece's suicide rate increased by 37 percent between 2009 - 2011, To Pontiki newspaper reported quoting police data. The data, which was presented in Parliament by Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias following a request by SYRIZA MPs, showed that 3,124 suicides and attempted suicides have occurred in the debt-stricken country since 2009, the weekly newspaper said." As noted, no surprise in this very tragic headline on the day in which the world's still wealthiest nation gives gratitude for all its "wealth."
Yet while the causes of the depressing Greek reality are well-known, what may be less known are the concurrent events which are taking place to help "fix" the country. Because if one listened to the Troika, the Eurogroup's now monthly 4:00 AM stressed and confused press conferences, and the Greek government, the people are suffering solely due to "austerity" which has to take place to restore balance. Yet as we have documented repeatedly, "austerity" in the true sense of the word has hardly been implemented anywhere. Instead, what has been implemented is a toxic spiral of rising corruption coupled with ever greater government imposition of control and the evisceration of a free market, which, and not "austerity" - which is merely another word for deleveraging, or returning to a sustainable sovereign debt level - is what has precipitated the death spiral of Greek society until such point in time when there is no more capital to plunder from anyone and the farcical flame that passes for the Greek economy, and soon thereafter society, is finally extinguished.
One such event is the realization that despite the collapse of end-demand, milk in Greece costs more than anywhere else in the European Union.
Why? Read on to understand what is really happening in Greece.
From Kathimerini :
Cost of milk in Greece a problem for consumers and producers
To understand why milk costs more in Greek shops than anywhere else in the European Union, Stathis Aravanis's farm is a good place to start.
Tall elm trees screen the 4 hectares (10 acres) of land that Aravanis farms outside the small town of Orchomenos in central Greece, not far from the ancient city of Thebes. The silence is broken only by the sound of grazing cattle and a passing tractor.
Each day 200 or so cows produce 5.5 tons of milk that he has been selling to Delta, a division of food conglomerate Vivartia, since 1990. Delta, which collects the milk every two days, pays him 45 euro cents a liter.
That is in line with the average farm-gate price in Greece of 44.79 cents, according to Eurostat, the EU's statistics office. Only in Finland, Malta and Cyprus is the price higher.
Aravanis said his running costs made it impossible to produce more cheaply.
His farm is too small for him to grow fodder for his total herd of 440 animals, so he has to buy in clover, maize, oats, hay and soya, which is imported from the United States.
"If the price fell to 40 cents none of us would be able to survive. We are barely getting by at these prices,» he said.
Aravanis reserves his harshest criticism for government bureaucrats, who he says make it hard for farmers to obtain land permits to expand and reap economies of scale. «It's not as if cows are going to be grazing in their living room,» he said.
George Kefalas, who produces milk on a family farm near the northern city of Thessaloniki, said it can take two or three years to get an operating licence.
"In other countries, even in the developing world, these are issues that were resolved decades ago,» Kefalas, the head of Greece's Cattle Breeders' Association, said. He says he supplies milk to the dairy firm Olympus at 46 cents a liter.
At the other end of the dairy chain stand Greek shoppers, who wonder why they have to pay around 1.50 euros for a liter of fresh milk.
Agnes Papadopoulou, 46, a mother of two young children who lost her job as an accountant in January, stopped buying fresh milk months ago because she could no longer afford it.
"It's too expensive. It's impossible to get by when you need two liters a day, plus bread, plus food, never mind all the bills and taxes we have to pay. Fresh milk is a luxury,» Papadopoulou said, pushing a trolley stacked with pasta, lentils and tinned food in an Athens supermarket.
Attempting direct comparisons with prices elsewhere in Europe is treacherous because so many variables are in play, such as transport costs, rents and consumer preferences.
But Eurostat says the price in Greece of dairy produce -- milk, cheese and eggs -- was 31.5 percent above the EU average in 2011, the highest in Europe.
Greek dairy firms say they charge a fair price and their sector is one of the least profitable due to high costs.
But many Greeks assume that milk prices are rigged, a suspicion reinforced by a fine of 75 million euros that the Competition Commission slapped on several firms in 2007 for fixing prices between themselves and with supermarkets.
The companies are still challenging the ruling in court.
"Of course milk needs to be cheaper. The government needs to do something because the big companies are taking advantage of us,» said Loukia Antonopoulou, 41, a saleswoman in a clothes shop in Athens.
Athanasios Skordas, the deputy minister for economic development and competitiveness, said the very fact that the price of a liter of milk ranges from 0.85 to 2.10 euros shows there is no indication of price fixing.
"Competition works. There is a large number of active firms and the price range is very wide,» he told Reuters. «I'm not saying milk is cheap, but I think the price is very fair."
Skordas said milk was expensive because of farmers' high production costs, expensive packaging and the cost of transporting milk to remote islands and villages.
Moreover, fresh milk is sold in Greece with a shelf life of just five days, which means more trips to collect it from farms.
Dairy farmers oppose a long-standing proposal to extend the shelf life of milk to 10 days, as is common elsewhere in Europe.
This could be done relatively simply in the pasteurisation process, but Skordas said cattle breeders feared -- unnecessarily, in his opinion -- that this would open the door to increased competition from imported milk.
Back on his muddy farm at Orchomenos, Aravanis said the quality of Greek milk was unbeatable. But he added: "It could be sold a little cheaper. I wish prices could be held down so the consumer with a family could buy even one more liter of milk. That would be very important for us."
That right there tells you everything, Forget the milk. The problem is bigger than dairy products or farming. The attitude that companies are "taking advantage" and that government needs to "do something" is why the world is a mess.
Government did do something for decades; hence the pain and suffering by these adult children both in Greece and in the USSA!
The rise of the Greek Golden Dawn party is actually interesting, not because of the invective of Nazism, but because what, in practical terms, might result, if Greece “goes Nazi”.
Remember that not too long ago, Greece was taken over by a “right wing” military coup for seven years, which I suspect is similar in practice to what the Golden Dawn want.
To start with, a Golden Dawn-led Greece would likely include the following:
Extremely anti-communist and socialist.
Very Eurosceptic, likely either leaving the EU or being kicked out.
Xenophobic, deporting illegal and legal immigrants.
Renouncing their international debts, and removing Greece from ‘internationalist’ organizations and treaties. Likely including NATO, unless they get into an active spat with Turkey.
Forming alliances with other right wing European and Russian groups.
Interestingly, I doubt that Greece would be aggressive, with the one exception being towards the tiny country of Macedonia, which is kind of a Balkan powder keg, since it is claimed by just about everyone in the region, including Greece. In the balance they would probably decide it wasn’t worth it.
The bottom line for a “Nazi Greece” is probably that it would deeply unhinge the European leftists and socialists, would boot out a lot of foreigners, but otherwise would not be intolerable, though the leftists and socialists would pretend that it was.
In total, perhaps more like Franco’s fascist Spain, than fascist Italy or Nazi Germany. As long as they kept to themselves, nobody cares but communists and socialists.
Drinking milk leads to suicide? Suicides and divorces, in almost every case, the victims had consumed milk sometime in their life..........makes one go Hmmmmmmmm
Cost of food in Serbia:
Milk: 1.2 Euros per 1 liter
Pork Meat: 5 Euros per 1 kg (2 pds)
Beef Meat: 7 Euros prr 1 kg
Loaf of bread 0.4 Euros 0.5 kg (1 pound)
Average salary 230 Euros per month
Mauldin, John (2011-02-09). Endgame: The End of the Debt SuperCycle and How It Changes Everything (p. 222). Wiley. Kindle Edition.
As it turned out, what the Greeks wanted to do, once the lights went out and they were alone in the dark with a pile of borrowed money, was turn their government into a piñata stuffed with fantastic sums and give as many citizens as possible a whack at it. In just the past decade the wage bill of the Greek public sector has doubled, in real termsand that number doesnt take into account the bribes collected by public officials. The average government job pays almost three times the average private-sector job.
The national railroad has annual revenues of 100 million euros against an annual wage bill of 400 million, plus 300 million euros in other expenses. The average state railroad employee earns 65,000 euros a year. Twenty years ago a successful businessman turned minister of finance named Stefanos Manos pointed out that it would be cheaper to put all Greeces rail passengers into taxicabs: its still true. We have a railroad company which is bankrupt beyond comprehension, Manos put it to me. And yet there isnt a single private company in Greece with that kind of average pay.
The Greek public-school system is the site of breathtaking inefficiency: one of the lowest-ranked systems in Europe, it nonetheless employs four times as many teachers per pupil as the highest-ranked, Finlands. Greeks who send their children to public schools simply assume that they will need to hire private tutors to make sure they actually learn something. There are three government-owned defense companies: together they have billions of euros in debts, and mounting losses.
The retirement age for Greek jobs classified as arduous is as early as 55 for men and 50 for women. As this is also the moment when the state begins to shovel out generous pensions, more than 600 Greek professions somehow managed to get themselves classified as arduous: hairdressers, radio announcers, waiters, musicians, and on and on and on. The Greek public health-care system spends far more on supplies than the European averageand it is not uncommon, several Greeks tell me, to see nurses and doctors leaving the job with their arms filled with paper towels and diapers and whatever else they can plunder from the supply closets.
The Greek people never learned to pay their taxes . . . because no one is ever punished. Its like a gentleman not opening a door for a lady. Where waste ends and theft begins almost doesnt matter; the one masks and thus enables the other. Its simply assumed, for instance, that anyone who is working for the government is meant to be bribed. People who go to public health clinics assume they will need to bribe doctors to actually take care of them. Government ministers who have spent their lives in public service emerge from office able to afford multi-million-dollar mansions and two or three country homes.
Meanwhile in California, cows are slaves, imprisoned in tiny compounds instead of being allowed to graze in free pastures as they did before they escaped from Wisconsin.
My mother-in-law lives in one of those pre-WW2 apartments that are huge. She rented a room to a Greek man who is an ex-soldier and paratrooper. He is learning German but speaks good English.
A month ago we were visiting my mother-in-law and he told me the situation is worse than reported about. He said gangs are roaming and it will take a whole new generation to fix things.
He is in top shape, so I suggested to my wife he might get a job through Holmes Place, because she works for them. Last week he got hired as a personal fitness trainer. :)
I would be willing to sponsor a attractive greek woman if she would like to leave Greece. :)
Greece is a shining example of (among other things) why a nation should never have a currency that it has no control of. They’d be better off with the old Drachma than the Euro. Too late now, it seems.
Here's a 26 year old for ya!
In my own words : I am a bubbly fun-loving Greek gal, who works hard, and parties harder.
No thank you
Why do any of you believe there will be another chance? You're fooling yourselves and you refused to look at reality in the face.
This is exactly the climate that was pre-Hitler Germany.
Franco was no fascist.
They really photoshopped that one up, eh?
Actually 'au natural'! Plus, she is actually a US citizen from Las Vegas who says she goes to Greece every summer to visit friends and family! I jus did a search and chose a good possibility for perdoggie! He quickly declined!!!!
I coulda posted a Helen Thomas pic!
Socialism always leads to poverty (except for the elite in the government-media complex and the “have-nots.”)
In other words, the productive, hard-working people get poor and no one else does.
Our society is an interesting, if not scary, pot of diversity which some idiots proclaim is our strength.
The pot is being stirred and will erupt like Vesuvius.
Chickens are allowed to run pell-mell through the country side laying their eggs in unusual places and pooping on everything.
That is Californicate.
So you mean her front teeth are more yellow than her back teeth?
A good analysis. I think a coup is likely in Greece, if an election doesn’t put Golden Dawn into power. They have over 50% of the police supporting them, and who knows what the figures are in Greece’s relatively small military.
They have already expressed a desire to punish immigrants (particularly those who cross the land border from Turkey), the yellow press, and politicians who sold the country out piece by piece. We’d see a lot of violence in Greece under this regime. The idea that they would rule as Hitler ruled is hard to imagine, simply because they don’t have the money or resources to become a “National Socialist” society. Germany was broke going into Hitler’s rule, but it still had many economic trump cards including natural resources, a wealthy group they could seize money from (the Jews), and one of the most work-oriented populations in Europe. Greece has NONE of these as far as can tell. In the end, it would likely just end up being a nationalist government like Serbia, which isn’t so bad.
We are likely to see a similar thing happen in Hungary, where Golden Dawn’s equivalent, Jobbik, essentially have control of several regions through a paramilitary force known as the Magyar Garda.
These regimes would leave the EU (if it is still around by then), or yes, be kicked out for their xenophobia and unwillingness to go along with Brussels.
As for conflicts, you may be underestimating the nature of the Balkans. If the EU is gone (which I think it will be), there is very little oversight anymore. The UN has proven its worthlessness in Syria. Golden Dawn have made clear that a greater Greece includes Macedonia, and if they build up their military (which would create jobs), a takeover is not so unlikely. I don’t rate Macedonia’s defensive capabilities, and authoritarian governments often use conflict as a rallying cry to unite the people.
Without oversight in the region, there will no doubt be other conflict as well. Hungary have their own axe to grind with Romania over Transylvania, which they believe is their territory. Kosovo will likely be taken back by Serbia, and I honestly would not be surprised if Greece and Serbia split Albania down the middle, (they have long considered the Albanians traitors for adhering to Islam back in the days of the Ottoman Empire).
My prediction is that we’ll see a very tight alliance form between Greece, Serbia, and Hungary, possibly Bulgaria as well.
When the EU breaks down, we’ll see looser coalitions of countries band together for their own security. Whatever happens, it will be interesting to watch.
***Uni-Brow*** Haven’t seen one of those Cro-Magnon styles, in years. Imagine what her legs and armpits look like?
NO PICS PLEASE!
That’s how she gets the bark off of the trees.
Okay: I'm oversimplifying somewhat, but I'm doing so to show a tendency that's glossed over right now. As long as a large number of people think that the best response to failed policies is to double down, the spirit behind Golden Dawn will metastasize and spread across Europe.
The first Fascist leader in Europe was not Hitler: it was Mussolini. Until he agreed to be under the thumb of the Nazis, his rule didn't seem all that bad to the chattering classes in his heyday. In fact, none other than the New York Slimes had favourable articles about him circa 1930 - back when the Nazis were in about the same position as Golden Dawn is now.
Maybe Golden Dawn's rule will be like Mussolini's: shelve the democratic process, throw a few hundred political enemies into the hoosegow but treat them fairly decently while confined, no massacres or (initially) wars, hold up the Potemkin village of the trains being run on time. Although we have only case to go on, history shows that the first Fascist government isn't the big worry. It's the second, as ensconced in a much bigger and more powerful country.
And the second slides in courtesy of the legitimacy provided by the first.
I say this because Greece in in huge trouble for reasons not specific to Greece. We're not talking about a domestic breach of the Constitution, a domestic civil war [even if proxyish] or widespread domestic anarchy. The problem that Golden Dawn purports to double-down solve is trans-European. I'm tempted to say trans-First-World.
If one group of blokes get in and don't do that badly, we'll be lulled. And fascists of other nations will be encouraged. "Common problem, common solution" and so on.
Remember: in a very real way, full fascism is a double-down in the teeth of austerity. And there are lots of people whose response to austerity will be to double down.
Also remember: the relative 'civility' of Mussolini's rule eased the path for Hitler. Had Mussolini not taken over, it's highly unlikely that the Nazis would have won. Their apologists couldn't intimate that Hitler's fascism would be a lot like Mussolini's had there been no Mussolini. And Mussolini's Fascism did gain semi-legitimacy in the Western World as the '20s turned into the '30s.
No real dispute there, however, if you look at Germany of the period, there was an almost equal chance that it could go fascist, or that it could go communist. Ernst Thälmann, the chairman of the KPD, was in Stalin’s pocket, and was just as megalomaniac as was Hitler.
He would likely not have started World War II, but the end result could have been a communist Europe aligned with the Soviet Union, dominating the world militarily and murdering far more people than Hitler did.
True, and there are indeed other examples of what could be called “fascist” rule not being as bad as is made out. Chile is a good example. General Pinochet gets a horrible reputation, but his counterparts in places such as Argentina were far worse than he was. In fact, many in Chile today regard Pinochet as a hero.
My hope is that we won’t have to worry about the prospect of autocratic rule under men like Nikos Michaloliakos in any countries with geo-political significance.
Remember that in most European countries, Euroskeptic anti-immigration parties and leaders have a strong foothold already and are respectable individuals who are genuinely concerned for their countries.
You can break these counter-supernationalists down into three groups.
Group 1 - The Dutch Freedom Party, the Sweden Democrats, the True Finns, the Danish People’s Party, and the Swiss People’s Party.
These are groups that have an agenda of reversing Europe’s unfluence on their individual countries, getting rid of mass immigration (especially of Muslims), promoting faith and family again, and embracing truth while destroying political correctness. They are usually pro-Israel and pro-America. They are the new wave of what you could call “right wingers” in Europe
Group 2 - The National Front, the freedom party of Austria
These are groups that try to walk the line between the new right wing and the old remnants of Europe’s xenophobic past. While they emulate popular positions of those in group 1 (which is why they have a lot of youth support), they are also heavily influenced by the ‘old guard’, anti-semites, former fascists, and national socialists.
Then, there is Group 3 - Jobbik, Golden Dawn, possibly ATAKA
Controlled and operated by traditional, old style nationalists. Are more prone to using violence, many having been not only supporters of, but members of, fascist regimes. (I believe Michaloliakos was part of the Metaxas regime). They run their operation following the fascist playbook step by step, gaining popular support. Whether they would be more like Italy or Germany when all is said and done, is debatable, but yes, we should keep a close and skeptical eye on them, keeping in mind that what many of these European nations have right now can be classed as a dictatorship. The people have little to no control of their destiny anymore.
Beyond these impoverished countries in the east however, I could never see these kinds of people turning, let’s say Sweden, into an autocracy. I just don’t think the conditions could get to that stage unless something truly catastrophic happens, like an overnight collapse of the world economy. If totalitarian regimes seize control in Hungary or Greece, it won’t have much of an impact on the world. If it happens in France or Spain, then we can get a little worried.
What we see in Greece, and many other places (including here in the US) is a lot of government intrusion, government spending, government charity. When they run out of other peoples' money, the governments start looking around for new solutions. Well, the new solution is the same as the old solution -- they double down on Socialism, but they call it "far right" and they claim that it's a totally new approach. It isn't. But they hope to sell it to a public that is desperate for an easy fix.
“Euro Girls 2012”. NOW, yer talking!
A far, far cry from that Neanderthal.
Thanks for bringing up France. While I was away on caregiving duty, I mulled this scenario over. I'm only being speculative here - in a way, I'm going from out on a limb to out on a sub-branch - but here's how I think it could play out:
Golden Dawn gets into power and is inaugurated with a global firestorm of anger and fear. As time goes on, though, GD does govern like Mussolini. There's tyranny but no real terror. Most of the people who expected Hitler II seriously wonder if they overreacted.
With apologists using GD as a soother, a neo-Falagist government takes over Spain. Again, the same worldwide shock and anger - followed by...not that much. As with Greece, Spanish fascism seems to be little more than jailing a few thousand dissidents and compulsory calisthenics writ large. Again, most of the people who raised the hue and cry seriously wonder if they've overreacted. And this time, the hue-cryers are fewer. In genteel company, fascism is once again being referred to as the "Third Way."
Then, France. Right now, because of guilt over Vichy, French people largely take the "surrender monkey" comments in stride. But imagine what would happen if they see GD and neo-Falangist governing fascistically with little bloodshed. They take a look at their straitened prospects, look at the Muslim enclaves, look at Greece and Spain, and start asking themselves:
"Why are we, le pays de Napoléon, la France being treated with such open disdain?"
At that point, I'd worry. A lot. Recent history has lulled us right now to the fact that France was militarily aggressive in its heyday.
Thanks and agreed. But I want to add a proviso: fascists, once they become respectable, are very good at making left-wing policies seem right-wing. They also ashcan left-wing polices that reek of unicorns and ponies, and tend to "act" right-wing.
You want to find out where the political future is? Watch the beautiful women, Where they are, the men will flock to.
Well, if it comes to that, there would be three versions to the story.
The first would be hard to find, an objective view of their achievements and failures.
The second would be the extremely biased and hate filled interpretation promulgated by the the left, the socialists and communists.
And the third would be the MSM interpretation, likely so cockeyed and frivolous as to be useless. They aren’t even trying anymore. It would mostly lean to just reprinting the socialist and communist press release attacks, no doubt.
Yes, France may yet be the biggest surprise. After all, they currently have a socialist president who is destroying France’s economy. They just got downgraded... again. It would be interesting to see how a conflict in Europe might play out with Germany and France reversing their WWII roles. Not counting the US presence, Germany has a relatively small military, and how much longer can we afford to keep that presence in Germany? With President Bongo leading us “forward”, I doubt we’ll even be able to maintain our bases in South Korea, let alone Germany.
It’s amazing to think how quickly this illusion of a “global village” where we all get along could come crashing down with just one small shove. That shove might just be a war between Israel and Iran, the shutting down of the strait, and the economic implications that it would entail.
Despite TOTUS’ destruction of the job market, there’s one career in the coming decades that I guarantee will be stable. War correspondence. Sad times. :(