Greek Government, And Bailout Deal, On Verge Of Collapse Due To Definition Of "Fresh Milk"

Tyler Durden's picture

The Greek economic collapse, depression and bankruptcy has seen many odd things in its brief and often times violent history (in those days when the violent elements were not on strike), but this surely is the first time when one of the countless Greek bailouts may be on the rocks due to the disagreement over the definition of "fresh milk." No, really. Reuters explains that Greece's government risks another rebellion over bailout terms this week after milk producers lobbied against a move to free up prices as part of efforts to make the economy more competitive. Basically, for Greeks, milk is fresh if it is 5 days old or less, yet according to the always fascinating codex of the Troika, "fresh" can be labeled anything that is as old as 11 days.... including the salmonella bacteria it contains. What's worse, is that the "spoiled milk" scandal, far from a joke, has swept over the country, and now even threatens to topple the government.

From Reuters:

The country's international lenders want it to ditch rules, such as limiting the shelf life of fresh milk to five days, that effectively deter importers.


But Greek dairy producers and lawmakers representing farming constituencies are fighting the move to call milk up to 11 days old 'fresh' - the latest in a long line of last-minute disruptions to Greece's bailout reviews with the European Union and International Monetary Fund.


Six lawmakers from within the ruling coalition - three from Prime Minister Antonis Samaras's New Democracy party and three from the Socialist PASOK - have opposed the proposal that will be submitted to parliament on Friday as part of an omnibus reform bill that Greece must pass to secure bailout aid.


If they vote against it, Samaras and PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos could be forced to expel them, further reducing the government's slim majority of just 153 seats in the 300-seat assembly.

In other words, there is a possibility that Samaras' government, which nearly brought down the Eurozone after the summer of 2012 elections were almost won by the "anti-bailout" Samaras, will have no choice but to expel enough people from his party to leave it without an absolute 50%+1 majority, and potentially lead to a government collapse! All because of the definition of fresh milk.

Yup: it sure sounds like the European "Union."

The bill - which will pave for the way for up to 10 billion euros ($14 billion) of aid - is expected to pass after last-minute wrangling, but the row has highlighted how powerful lobbies can undermine the country's bailout lifeline.


"You don't need to be an expert to understand that extending the shelf life is aimed at allowing milk from abroad to be labelled as fresh," PASOK lawmaker Mihalis Kassis told Greek radio at the weekend. "If that's a prerequisite by the (EU/IMF) troika then we deserve what we get."


The controversy has captured headlines and days of debate on Greek television, overshadowing expectations that the country will soon be able to raise money on bond markets again.


"It is unfair and saddening, at a time when Greece is spreading its wings to emerge from a rut, that there is such dissonance," Samaras said during a trip to Brussels on Friday.


"MPs drowning in a glass of milk!" the daily Ethnos wrote on its front page on Saturday. "Spoiled milk" proclaimed the center-left Eleftherotypia newspaper's headline.

Why are foreign exporters so interested in penetrating the Greek milk market? Simple: prices. "Greece is the only country in Europe that has legislation to determine the shelf life of fresh milk and the price, at around 1.30 euros per litre, is among the highest in the EU. The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says Greeks paid about a third more for dairy produce than the EU average in 2012."

One would think that the Greeks would welcome the competition from abroad, and that the lower price would be a good thing. Well, if cow farms and milkmen account for a substantial portion of the Greek GDP, not to mention employment pool, which apparently in Greece they do, it becomes clear why the nation which is now a complete and utter economic disaster quarantine area, would be leery of allowing any foreign influence to raise its already laughter inducing unemployment rate.

So aside from that, the Grecovery is on pace.

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Major Major Major's picture

After 11 days it becomes fresh yogurt

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Sounds like lots of sour cream to me.

Quus Ant's picture

how many accounts do you have, Mr Kitty? 


A Lunatic's picture

Looks like at least enough to explore the many ways to skin a cat.......

TheRedScourge's picture

No sense crying over spilled milk? Okay fine, but what about spoiled milk?

Iocosus's picture

How will they sit at the cafe all day and smoke wihtout fresh milk in their coffee?

icanhasbailout's picture

About time for you to receive an IP ban

GetZeeGold's picture



Nuke the site from's the only way to be sure.

zerozulu's picture

Time comes in the history of nations when they are looking for excuses to revolt.

TinF0ilHat's picture

It's all Greek to me.

Harbanger's picture

Milk ain't fresh till we nuke it, for your safety.

thamnosma's picture

Found a good source of raw milk a few months ago and enjoying it immensely.  Comes in the old style glass bottles too.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Kirk is partial to milk jugs.
Got milk?

Independent's picture

I agree Kirk nothing better when its fresh from the tap.  I think Vanderbilt can say a few words about that too lol.

One way to make milk last longer is doing the

By the way that cute Colombian gal has a fine receipes web site strongly recommend it, just been perusing it myself since looked up kumis receipes and found it on the search


shovelhead's picture

I always like the way she looked ummm...kinda dirty, ya know what I mean?

Winston Churchill's picture

The whey that broke the geckos back.

I alway enjoy the gecko wrestling at the Olympics.

tom a taxpayer's picture

Fresh milk...Isn't that what Drahgi, Yellen, Bernanke, and other central bankers supply?

Freddie's picture

You are thinking of "the milk of human kindness."  No these evil Satanic fuxxx don't supply that. 

BringOnTheAsteroid's picture

I don't think it's possible for a post menopausal women to produce any milk let alone fresh milk. A nice lactation video with Yellen and Bernanke would hit the spot, imagine that smiling mug with a big milk moustache. Mummy, I'm hungry. Come little Ben, mummy Yellen has your milk.

PS. Mummy is not a typo.

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

Dear God... is there nothing politicians and bureaucrats won't piss on with central planning?

How about milk producers put a date of production on the milk container and let the buyer decide? Nah, that'd give too much responsibility and dignity back to the public.

MrTouchdown's picture

... just let them do what they want already. It can only improve things... Can't really make anything worse.

Cacete de Ouro's picture

I like fresh milk!

ok, off topic; Japanese comedy is so slapstick actually, I had to share it with you. The Japanese sense of humor is very funny. You just don't notice it all the time. It can sometimes include dinosaurs....

i_call_you_my_base's picture

There is no way local greeks can compete with big producers. Their products will go completely unsold. Then the multinational producers come in and buy the farms on the cheap while employing the former owners at half their prior income. That's how the trade scam works. The US has been running that grift for a long time.

Oldwood's picture

Free trade means defenseless trade without protectionism for protection. Ultimately humans are cannibals that will readily eat each other for the sake of a good deal. Americans have been giving their own jobs away for years by buying the cheap import. Now fewer than ever will expend the effort to grow their own "food" when they can simply eat their neighbor, so to speak. Greek farmers fear cheap imports because Greeks will buy the cheap imports. Greeks don't give a shit about Greek farmers or Greek anything else unless it is Greek Me. Nationalism is dead. Even localism is dead. Is all for ourselves now. No one is worried about a job tomorrow, only the best deal they can get today.

UselessEater's picture

Meanwhile its OK to push for banker bail-in and welfare for 'some' is apparently efficiency of market forces in action.

CrashisOptimistic's picture

More bullshit.  The bill will pass.  The "aid" (aka loan) will be provided, and they will celebrate "access to the bond market" (aka the ability to borrow even more money).

Now do you see why money is meaningless and oil is everything?

MeMongo's picture

Mongo like big breasted tittie milk:-)

A Nanny Moose's picture

That not where choo choo go.

Intoxicologist's picture


Carnation Milk is best of all

No tits to pull, no shit to haul

No pails to wash, no hay to pitch

Just poke a hole in the son of a bitch!

Freddie's picture

The Troika - coming to your town in the Ukraine to loot and pillage.

Lore's picture

Canadian dairy is tightly locked up by the mobocracy.  The last time a couple farmers tried to sell fresh raw milk, they got thrown in jail.  Breaking the cartel is a work in progress.

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

They have been harassing the Amish for selling raw milk in Maryland and around Washington, DC. The Amish are starting to get really pissed off about this and a lot of other things. (They all have scoped rifles for deer hunting so they are probably on a bunch of watch lists.)

Oldwood's picture

The only entities that can retain freedom are those who possess great wealth. We are now finding that even wealth is no protection of rights as the act of pursuing wealth appears to compromise a person's standing in the eyes of our government. Only a greedy evil person would want wealth derived from commerce, from the free markets that rely on supply and DEMAND. The only pure, clean wealth is that which comes from the hands of our government, the truly "entitled". All others are morally deficient.

Lore's picture

Wonder if Mormons have a workaround. Any Mormons online? 

MontgomeryScott's picture

Like other poor and opressed peoples, Mormons are sadly misquoted.

I asked Larry Craig (the Senator) about this situation. After discussing his invention of the 'wide stance' method of evacuation within airports, I quizzed him regarding the term 'workaround'. He looked at me, shaking his head sadly, and described this as a term used in First Third Book of Scrolls, chapter 5, and scolded me for misquoting the word. The correct term, he emphatically admonished me, is 'REACH-AROUND'.

Since he is a full super-secret bishop, third garment degree, and has 'stakes' in all kinds of stuff (like Swire), and his relatives were part of the personal private security team at the Sands when Hughes lived there, I looked at him in 'awe', in the revelation of what he stated. I quickly left, my ass-cheeks clenched tightly, and proceeded to vomit all over the sidewalk outside his location.

Suddenly, I looked up, my spittle dripping off of my chin, and saw the image of the one so holy, Mittens (The Romney)... he (HE!) asked me if I liked fresh milk...

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

hehehe...funny shit man. I doubt too many got the humor.

Quant Jockey's picture

"Yasmine Bleeth is hot", said in my best Eric Cartman voice.

Spungo's picture

We need to impose sanctions on the milk. Just in case.

MontgomeryScott's picture

God help Greece if they open an Asprin factory! Milk is a threat in and of itself, but if they dare to open an Asprin factory, NATO allies will be forced to act!

taketheredpill's picture






22winmag's picture

Send in drones to monitor the situation.

logicalman's picture

You know the world has gone completely insane when..............

One of We's picture

From the ridiculous to the bovine....