“I think the phenomenon is temporary.” This was stated by the Minister of Agricultural Development and Food, Lefteris Avgenakis, referring to the prices of olive oil which have soared to unprecedented levels, in an interview with the newspaper “Peloponnisos”.
He explained that “prices, especially in olive oil, are shaped by supply and demand and reduced production, due to the climate crisis, has affected prices”.
Mr. Avgenakis stated that the government has taken and will continue to take concrete measures to contain prices.
The cost of production
Regarding production costs, the responsible minister said: “We have taken a series of measures, with the aim of reducing production costs. The last is the reduction by 11 units of VAT, from 24% to 13%, on agricultural machinery. However, we must not forget the 50% reduction in taxation for participants in cooperative schemes (cooperatives, producer groups and contract production). Also that this year the government will proceed with the return to the farmers of the Special Consumption Tax on oil”.
He also noted that “one global crisis follows another. But the Mitsotakis government was present. Always next to the farmers. More than 1 billion were given for their support in the successive crises experienced by Greece. Also, in the last four years, ELGA gave more than 1.2 billion euros in compensation.”
Lack of workers
Regarding the big problem of the lack of labor which the olive growers are facing with particular acuteness this year, the Minister of Development admitted that it is a big problem and referred to the bill being prepared by the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum, which, as he said, will provide a solution soon . “The Ministries of Labour, Interior and Foreign Affairs also have a reason. The Ministry of Rural Development and Food is the latest to be involved. A range of possible practical measures are being considered between these and the work subsidy”.