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.