Greece has enough stocks of flour, cereals and vegetable oils “for months to come,” Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis assured Parliament as he introduced a new register of stocks of food and agricultural commodities.
Speaking about the draft amendments to the register, Georgiadis said that this would allow the government to quickly obtain information on key supplies, due to disruptions in the supply chain due to the war in Ukraine.
“We don’t want some people to create a fictitious deficit and make a fortune out of it, either through the black market or by artificially raising prices more than justified by the global crisis.” said minister.
He clarified that the register does not mean a shortage of these goods, adding that stocks have already been recorded in supermarkets. “Stocks of all these products will last for months ahead. There is no reason to panic,” he said.
The amendment will oblige enterprises along the entire supply chain, from production and import to sale, distribution and storage, to keep records of: raw materials for the production of fertilizers, fertilizers themselves, animal feed, raw cereals, any kind of flour, sunflower seeds and vegetable oil (except olive).
The amendment of the Ministry of Finance gives businesses 48 hours after the publication of legislation to complete the register through the platform of the Ministry of Development, which connects to the gateway of public administration.
Failure to comply with the law or providing false information will result in product confiscation and fines ranging from 1,000 to 100,000 euros.
Sunflower oil and flour
Since flour and sunflower oil are staples, along with energy sources that have been hardest hit by the war in Ukraine, some supermarkets in Greece are already set a limit on the saleto avoid shortages and subsequent price increases.
So far, the measure has been described as “purely precautionary” and, as reported, has been implemented in online supermarkets, although it is expected to be extended to physical stores as well. However, purchase restrictions differ from one store to another.
At least one major supermarket has limited the purchase of all types of flour to three kilo packs per consumer when shopping online. The limit for sunflower oil is up to three bottles.
Another online supermarket has limited the purchase of sunflower oil to 4 packs per consumer.
The Minister of Development said a few days ago that he had asked for online platforms specifically for these two products, so that shares could be registered.
It is noted that the government has given companies 48 hours to account for their food and agricultural products.
Penalties for speculation
The Ministry of Development has launched an anti-speculation check and has already fined several enterprises for the sale of products with a profit above the allowable one.
Among the 48 businesses fined from the beginning of 2022 until March 24 are gas stations, supermarkets, fruit and vegetable wholesalers, fresh and frozen meat wholesalers, as well as diagnostic centers, pharmacies and doctor’s offices that charge much more for Covid-19 testing. above the official one.
The highest fine of €647,000 was imposed on a major supermarket chain, with a total fine of €1,376,992.43.
PS. From what I heard, some Greeks rushed to stock up on sunflower oil and flour, which are now plentiful and available. However, what’s the point of stockpiling if you can’t afford the electricity or gas prices to turn it into edible food?