ECONOMY

Decline in Greek farm incomes the steepest in the eurozone, 2002-2005

Greek farmers’ incomes showed a significant decline as a result of falling production between 2000 and 2005, a report by the European Union’s statistics service (Eurostat) shows. In fact, the decline in Greek farm incomes during this period was continuous and the highest among the old 15 members and the second highest among the 25 members after Cyprus, at 17.9 percent. The Netherlands and Italy followed. In the Community as a whole, farm incomes rose by an average of 5.2 percent, but this was partly due to a considerable increase in the new members, where incomes more than doubled as a result of EU subsidies after their accession. Among the old members, farm incomes recovered in the UK, after it overcame the effects of mad cow disease early in this decade, as well as in Germany, Austria, Sweden, Spain and Portugal. As regards a decline in production in particular sectors in the EU as a whole, it is worth noting the 16 percent fall in olive oil production in 2005 alone (Greece was the exception), cereals (11.1 percent), wine (10.1 percent), and eggs and poultry (9.9 and 3.3 percent, respectively)