Jobs are so scarce that many have been forced into underground barter economies and family farming to make ends meet. From massive austerity spending cuts that have torn to shreds the government social safety net, to shortages in critical life saving medicines and the near breakdown of the nation’s power grid, Greece is experiencing all of the overt signs of a nation on its last leg.
Now, with food prices rising to unattainable levels for the majority of the Greek population, the government is taking the desperate step of allowing merchants to sell expired foods, presumably at cheaper prices, so that poverty-stricken Greeks have at least something to put on their tables, regardless of the health risks posed:
Voz Populi (Google Translated):
Greece will allow the sale of expired food at a price lower than the original, in a move that the government has not been able to justify but consumer groups have interpreted as evidence of their inability to stop the escalating cost of commodities.
The regulations exclude meat and dairy from the list of perishables that can be sold and sets a ceiling dates you can continue marketing. Thus, foods in which the expiration date is indicated by the day and the month, may continue on the shelf for another week. In the event that the “best before” only month and year point, the sale may be extended for one month, and in the event that the date indicated year alone, the sale date may be extended by one quarter.
In the Greece of the crisis, the wage & pension cuts & rising unemployment, food prices & commodities has not stopped rising. Between August 2011 and August 2012, the price of sugar shot up 15%, the eggs, 6.8% for butter by 3.2% and that of coffee, 5.9%, according to data from the Statistics Authority.
“It is an immoral act,” criticized Tsiafutis. “Instead of taking initiatives to control prices, allow the sale of food past the expiration date.” ]
And there it is, proof that the German mandate of forfeiture of sovereignty & harsh austerity that smothers a nation to get their financial aid is a death wish that can not be escaped once the agreement is made. Now that the Greek people have been publicly chastised as simply lazy Mediterranean people who have no work ethic the pressure could be applied to force them into austerity “in order to force the reduction in spending to help them as a nation to get their deficits under control through a form of economic tough love”. And now the fruits of EU austerity has blossomed revealing the end result of a bankrupted nation that must change the laws on the consumption of expired foods in a retail setting as they are wildly unable to manage the food inflation through economic solutions. What a sad day? There are no economic solutions in sight so they have been forced to re-invent legislation so that the Greek people can legally consume expired foods in order to sustain themselves. The day a first world industrialized nation must make the consumption of expired foods legal in order to ensure that their people can consume more affordable food the world is in big trouble. Not to mention the fact that these nations are “mobilizing their militaries in preparation for total meltdowns of their societies”?
Now this begs the question, which I have personally wondered about for a decade, if food manufacturers have intentionally ‘shortened’
We have a first world nation that was just two years ago an exotic high end lavish tourist destination that has now been reduced to third world status thanks to the EU/IMF/World Bank trifecta who were supposedly there to help their poor European counterpart but instead have brought abject poverty to the first world. What an upside down situation it really is. This reminds me of when Joseph Stiglitz left the World Bank & magically the ‘IMF Shock Doctrine’ was leaked out to the world as well as the admission that there was such a thing a “IMF Riots” in these poorer countries and its by design. He revealed that the IMF creates what is known as a 'country assistance strategy' which is basically forced upon the finance minister of a third world nation & they better go along peacefully & sign over the nation & its resources or the nation will totally collapse financially. Greece is looking a lot like those other nations that have been consumed by the benevolent IMF, whose biggest shareholder at 51% happens to the none other than the US Treasury. . . .
The brave new world will more than likely be an entirely different world than we have known for the better part of our adult lives. As I type this blog post I’m noticing for 2 consecutive days there have been mysterious headlines that “minorities threaten to riot if Obama not re-elected” & “thousands of minority twitter posts threaten assassination of Romney if Obama loses election”. This may seem like sensational headlines if not for the fact that just months ago the DHS posted a massive purchase request for a million dollars worth of riot gear & the reason posted was the ‘expectation of massive violent unrest in America due to election results’. This purchase request was followed by the US Army & the USMC making the exact same request, for the same reason? What happens when the stock market has another 1,000 point flash crash in 6 minutes again? What happens when consumer inflation takes the price of food out of the reach of millions of Americans? What happens when the ‘expired food campaign’ runs out & Greeks cant afford to feed their families? What happens when an obscure EU bank succumbs to the daily bank runs & shuts its doors? What happens when the bond market in the US gets attacked by the bond vigilantes? What happens when the Great Currency War of 2012 starts swallowing nations whole & nationalism re-emerges in vain efforts to protect a nations economy as the first world economies print into oblivion their own currencies to keep pace with the federal reserves desperate dollar devaluation campaign affectionately referred to as unlimited QE3? Inflation can morph into hyperinflation, recessions can morph into depressions, currency wars can morph into trade wars that can & often do morph into real wars. Remember that it is a far better strategy to PREPARE your portfolio than to attempt to REPAIR it once the damage has begun. Tick, tock.