Farming is a key industry for the Greek economy. Livestock provides employment to more than 140 000 families that produce typical products of exceptional quality for the agri-food sector coverage of the country. Livestock is crucial to crop production and the sector interacts with thousands of companies active in the sectors of processing, trade, transport and construction. However, in recent years production has been in constant decline and the sector has become inadequate.
The situation worsened with the increase in VAT on agricultural supplies and feed to 24% while farmers were selling milk at 13% VAT.
As a result, farmers should be compensated by the State for some 11% of their earnings to enable them to sustain their business streams. The Government, however, has either delayed or is not paying the VAT compensation, thus further exacerbating the prospect of sustainability in the livestock sector.
Can the Commission say:
1. Are measures, such as increasing VAT to 24% on animal and plant production, contributing, as part of the country's obligations under the memoranda, to achieving the required budget surpluses?
2. Is the non-payment of compensation for the statistical (not actual) recording of surpluses a requirement of the Commission or a practice of the Greek Government?