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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Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:02 | 4592447 EggSlayer
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Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:20 | 4592497 Major Major Major
Major Major Major's picture

After 11 days it becomes fresh yogurt

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:43 | 4592553 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Sounds like lots of sour cream to me.

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:44 | 4592557 The Vineyard
The Vineyard's picture

Tits and ass, bitches.  Tits and ass.

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 22:11 | 4592639 Quus Ant
Quus Ant's picture

how many accounts do you have, Mr Kitty? 


Tue, 03/25/2014 - 22:23 | 4592670 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

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

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 04:13 | 4593048 TheRedScourge
TheRedScourge's picture

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

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 06:42 | 4593097 Iocosus
Iocosus's picture

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

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 03:14 | 4593020 icanhasbailout
icanhasbailout's picture

About time for you to receive an IP ban

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 06:13 | 4593079 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



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

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 22:01 | 4592610 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

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

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:04 | 4592453 TinF0ilHat
TinF0ilHat's picture

It's all Greek to me.

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:22 | 4592502 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

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

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 22:15 | 4592655 Quus Ant
Quus Ant's picture

Flash pasteurized. 

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 02:22 | 4592980 thamnosma
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.

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 01:34 | 4592933 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Kirk is partial to milk jugs.
Got milk?

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 04:47 | 4593056 Independent
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


Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:04 | 4592454 Uncle Remus
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Helter skelter.

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 03:12 | 4593018 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

The little lady of Rock & Roll agrees.

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 10:08 | 4593483 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

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

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:04 | 4592457 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

The whey that broke the geckos back.

I alway enjoy the gecko wrestling at the Olympics.

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:06 | 4592458 tom a taxpayer
tom a taxpayer's picture

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

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:34 | 4592536 Freddie
Freddie's picture

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

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 04:16 | 4593050 BringOnTheAsteroid
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.

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:10 | 4592469 Gaius Frakkin' ...
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.

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 04:18 | 4593051 BringOnTheAsteroid
BringOnTheAsteroid's picture

The EU is well past it's expiry date.

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:11 | 4592477 MrTouchdown
MrTouchdown's picture

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

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:17 | 4592488 Cacete de Ouro
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....

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:19 | 4592495 i_call_you_my_base
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.

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:46 | 4592569 Oldwood
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.

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 23:23 | 4592780 UselessEater
UselessEater's picture

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

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:21 | 4592501 CrashisOptimistic
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?

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:21 | 4592503 MeMongo
MeMongo's picture

Mongo like big breasted tittie milk:-)

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 03:15 | 4593022 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

That not where choo choo go.

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:27 | 4592518 Intoxicologist
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!

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:27 | 4592521 Freddie
Freddie's picture

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

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:31 | 4592529 Lore
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.

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:46 | 4592568 Ralph Spoilsport
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.)

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:53 | 4592582 Oldwood
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.

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:54 | 4592585 Lore
Lore's picture

Wonder if Mormons have a workaround. Any Mormons online? 

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 23:15 | 4592754 MontgomeryScott
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...

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 00:29 | 4592868 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

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

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 17:25 | 4595723 Lore
Lore's picture

Too deep?

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:33 | 4592532 Quant Jockey
Quant Jockey's picture

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

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:33 | 4592535 Spungo
Spungo's picture

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

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 23:13 | 4592763 MontgomeryScott
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!

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:38 | 4592543 taketheredpill
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Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:41 | 4592549 22winmag
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Send in drones to monitor the situation.

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 21:58 | 4592603 logicalman
logicalman's picture

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

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 22:06 | 4592627 One of We
One of We's picture

From the ridiculous to the bovine....

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