ATHENS – The staple of Greek tables and arguably its most prized product – olive oil – has become too expensive for many households to buy – largely because most of it is sold to other countries to rebrand as their own, especially Italy.
The whole price of the so-called “green gold” will hit 12-15 euros ($12.78-$15.96) power liter (33.814 ounces) or little more than a quart, also affected by wildfires and floods that destroyed olive trees, climbing inflation and a poor crop seen.
Myron Chiletzakis, Vice-President of the Heraklion Agricultural Cooperative (EASH) on Greece’s biggest island Crete told Open TV that the price is skyrocketing past the point of affordability for many.
He also told state broadcaster ERT that it’s largely because 80 percent of what’s produced is sold to other countries, a practice that rival Turkey has prohibited for now to protect supplies there. He said Greece should have a similar ban.
He said the average price for olive oil on supermarket shelves – Greece has a 24 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on foods – rose 35 percent in August along to hit 13 euros ($13.84) or about ($52.32) per gallon for a daily item.
Olive oil is the heart of the Mediterranean diet and extolled for its health benefits but had already seen restaurants in the country pulling it from tables and limiting how much they put on the famed horiataki, Greek salad.