(or why Greece still has a good chance to come to her senses)
I've said it before and I 'll say it again: I love it when something "clicks" for the first time in people's minds!!! (I'm absolutely thrilled whenever something clicks in mine too).
During the last two weeks the so called "potato movement" has been born, is gathering strength and has everyone-including the communist party lol-worrying. It all started when the potato producers in northern Greece got really furious with the "middlemen",who are buying their potatoes for 0,15 euros while the consumer prices are anything between 0,60 to 0,85 euros per kilo...at least 400% up!!!!!
The Nevrokopi district producers went to the nearest big city-Katerini-with their trucks full of potatoes and gave them away for free to anyone passing by. This gave to some the brilliant idea of organizing a direct producer -to- consumer- sale of potatoes. Through the Internet various groups-from nurses' unions to municipalities in Athens-are now ordering truckloads of -very tasty-Nevrokopi potatoes for 0,25 per kilo, young farmers from other parts of Greece are "waking up" and there are thoughts about the direct sale also of olive oil, meat, lentils, flour etc.
Of course the "middlemen" have been furious.For decades they kept the farmers and the consumers isolated and that meant BIG money for them and for the big supermarket chains-which incidentally have started to lower their potato prices, hehe.
In order to force farmers to sell their crops cheap,they even import potatoes from Egypt, "baptize" them Greek and sell them in high prices. And that's why the Nevrokopi farmers still had half their annual production unsold!!!
A member of the government tried to insinuate yesterday that the directly sold potatoes are not of a good quality,(duh?) and the communist party (yes,we still got one,aren't we lucky?) attacked the initiative, cause "it distracts the people from the real enemy and keeps farmers away from their unions", give me a break and start living in the present....sigh*
To be honest, this potato "revolution" is one of the very few positive things happening these last two years in Greece. Something that breaks away from old bad habits and decades of complacency. Whenever a crisis strikes ,there is the huge, Heaven-send, let's-see-how-you-cope-now-baby opportunity for change!! CHANGE!!! I love it! It makes me believe we (or the younger generations) will make it through :))
P.S Potatoes were first planted in Greece during the 1.830's .The first governor of the new Greek Sate, John Capodistrias, brought the until then unknown in mainland Greece veggie from Liverpool and from France. Legend has it that in order to make Greek farmers interested in the new crop,he stacked potatoes in a barn and put an armed guard in front. Hmm,thought the farmers,there must be something precious in there to be guarded so well....so they sneaked in and stole the potatoes! Mission accomplished!!!