ECONOMY

Tobacco growers get boost from Philip Morris

The parent company of Greek tobacco firm Papastratos, Philip Morris International (PMI), is set to submit a proposal to the Greek government for the purchase of 50 percent of Greek tobacco production in the three years up to 2015, in a bid to provide financial support to Greek growers.

The move was announced following a meeting between Papastratos chairman and chief executive officer Nikitas Theofilopoulos and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Wednesday.

Theofilopoulos stated afterward that he had proposed that a cooperation agreement be signed by PMI and the Greek government for the purchase of half of the country’s Eastern-type tobacco production by 2015.

The proposal will be submitted shortly to the Agricultural Development Ministry “and we are hoping we can rapidly proceed to its implementation,” said Theofilopoulos.

A source has told Kathimerini that the offer to be presented to the ministry will be worth up to 150 million euros and will provide strong support to local tobacco producers for the next three years as the multinational group will feed its production plants around the world with Greek raw materials.

“We have historic links with Greek tobacco growers, who have been harmed by the financial crisis,” said the chief of Papastratos.