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GREECE-MILK/
RTR418R0
August 05, 2014
A cow eats at a milk farm in Larissa, central Greece June 27, 2014. Greek milk prices are the highest...
LARISSA, Greece
A cow eats at a milk farm in Larissa, central Greece
A cow eats at a milk farm in Larissa, central Greece June 27, 2014. Greek milk prices are the highest in the European Union, after Italy, Cyprus and Switzerland. Grassroots movements to cut out middlemen have been on the increase since Greece's debt crisis exposed the country's bureaucratic system which stifles innovation and encourages corruption. One of the most successful is dairy cooperative Thesgala or "Want Milk?" based in Larissa, where the town's new milk vending machines, have, on a small scale, solved a problem Greece's leaders and their international backers have tried and failed to tackle by supporting farmers while undercutting prices that have defied economic logic to remain some of the highest in the European Union. ThesGala pays farmers 45 cents a litre, giving small dairy farmers like Karfyllis a more stable and lucrative income from his 120 cows and 80 small calves. Unlike other ad-hoc farm movements, the cooperative publishes yearly financial statements and is taxed beforehand on milk delivered, meaning it does not contribute to Greece's vibrant black market economy. Picture taken June 27, 2014. REUTERS/Yorgos Karahalis (GREECE - Tags: FOOD SOCIETY BUSINESS ANIMALS)
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