Arab Today, arab today greek deputy minister resigns over crucial milk reform
Last Updated : GMT 15:47:55
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Greek deputy minister resigns over crucial milk reform

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Greek deputy minister resigns over crucial milk reform

Athens - AFP

Greece's deputy minister in charge of rural development and food said on Saturday he has resigned over new milk regulations included in an omnibus bill of reforms required by the debt-hitcountry'slenders.Maximos Charakopoulos, also a MP of the New Democracy ruling party, in his resignation statement criticised the Ministry of Development for proceeding with new regulations about the shelf-life of fresh milk without the consent of his food ministry."In a procedure during which we have never been asked or informed, we were learning from media about the propositions made by the Ministry of Development, all of which would facilitate milk importation from abroad to the detriment of the domestic production," Charakopoulos said.Nevertheless, the ruling party lawmaker stressed that he would not "jeopardize the bail-out of the country", implying that he would not vote against the omnibus bill which implements reforms prerequisite for the Greece's bailout loans.The Greek Parliament is set to vote on Sunday for the omnibus bill, which incorporates international recommendations to improve competitiveness and facilitates a long-delayed bank recapitalisation. It would unlock the payment to Greece of some 8.5 billion euros ($11.7 billion) in loans.Greek industry associations of pharmacists, bakers, cattle breeders and booksellers -- the sectors that will be most affected by the liberalisation reforms -- warned on Friday that the main beneficiaries would be foreign-based conglomerates.Greek milk producers say a reform that will allow longer shelf-life for milk will result in lower-quality milk from Romania and Bulgaria flooding the market and imperil a sector employing 300,000 people.As many as eight ruling coalition lawmakers had threatened to oppose the bill in parliament, where the government has a slim majority, but Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Thursday suggested government lawmakers would vote in favour of the necessary measures on Sunday.

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