Minister of Agriculture Athanasios Tsaftaris visited Berlin for the “Green Week” international expo of foods and agricultural products and spoke to “Der Tagesspiegel am Sonntag” about the Greek economy.
Mr. Tsaftaris stressed that he has made efforts to increase quality of agricultural products and reduce bureaucracy. He also revealed the government’s “single window” plan, which could save producers time and effort by not having to deal with multiple services and agencies.
The Minister considers the increase of exports to be related to the reduction of red tape. He estimates that product quality and appropriate marketing are also important in order to maximize profits. Mr. Tsaftaris underlined the connection between agricultural production and tourism. The Minister characteristically asked for Greek hotels to use local products.
The newspaper also revealed the government’s plan to grant 10,000 young people cheap loans in order to start businesses in the agricultural sector, as well as to attract educated people whose know-how can boost the agricultural economy.
The report also mentions that a great percentage of Greek olive oil is transported to Italy, where it is blended with Italian oil before being exported to Germany. This occurs not because of quality concerns, but rather the lack of bottling plans and antiquated premises.