OPINION

Cartel milks people’s purses

Recent reports of the alleged bribing of a government-appointed member of the Competition Commission and blackmail of the Mevgal dairy firm have become an embarrassment to the conservative administration. The discussion – as tends to happen in these cases – is spreading like brush fire. This is deflecting attention from the heart of the issue which is, of course, the fact that the milk market is dominated by a cartel that squanders people’s money. The cartel which controls prices on the dairy market disappears behind a flurry of rumors, allegations and disclosures. If the government wants to reframe the debate and make a huge contribution to the people and the country, then it must step up the publication of the report on the state of Greece’s dairy market. After all, it was the report that triggered the scandal in the first place. Officially, this is the business of the Competition Commission but the law says that the body is appointed by the development minister. If the government cannot accelerate the process, then it can at least express its desire for the immediate release of a report that is being kept at the bottom of the commission’s drawer. The government must move beyond the accusations and scandals whose investigation should, after all, be left to judicial officials. The government is faced with a huge scandal that is manifested in the country’s exorbitant milk prices. High milk prices are taking their toll on Greece’s households and the government must take action.