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Greek farmers are buying synthetic fertilizer from Bulgaria as it is 40% cheaper

10 November 2010 / 09:11:44  GRReporter
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Farmers from Northern Greece and Thessaly prefer to buy synthetic fertilizer, seeds and other agricultural products from Bulgaria because they are 30%-40% cheaper. It was announced at a press conference at the Ministry of Regional Development and Competitiveness that the Directorate General for Trade in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture will be monitoring the pricing method of end agricultural products. The aim is to determine why prices of agricultural supplies have risen from 20% to 40% in the last year, thus making the end consumer price higher.

"Prices of agricultural supplies will be monitored from today. High prices that manufacturers or importers are not able to justify will not be approved," said the Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Competitiveness Dinos Rovlias. He explained that according to information provided by the National Statistical Institute, the real increase of farmers’ production costs was around 5% in August 2010. The Ministry decided to monitor the pricing of goods to stop possible speculative price increases for the end user.

An order has been sent to regional authorities this week to conduct a market review by municipalities and to prepare lists of retail prices. Data will be processed in the Ministry of Regional Development and Competitiveness and the results should show where agricultural products are most expensive. Then, a joint committee composed of members of the agricultural and development ministries will make incremental inspections of the companies to identify the reason for the high prices.   

"The message is that we need to put order in this sector because a large percentage of farmers break down under the weight of the increased cost of production. The problem becomes especially serious if these increases are not justified," explained Rovlias. To the GRReporter’s question of whether the European Commission on Competitions will interprete further state intervention in pricing as an interference in the free market principles, Deputy Minister Rovlias explicitly dismissed such a possibility. The government official said the protection of consumers from speculative practices is set forth by law and the state is obliged to take action where there are serious doubts about violations.

Tags: EconomyMarketsAgriculturePricesSuppliesFree marketSpeculations
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