‘Buy Greek’ move­ment gets go­ing

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

No sooner has the “I won’t pay” move­ment made its mark on the Greek po­lit­i­cal and so­cial land­scape, an­other cit­i­zens’ group, called “We con­sume what we pro­duce” is hop­ing to change the at­ti­tudes of thou­sands of peo­ple.

While the “I won’t pay move­ment” protested high toll and pub­lic trans­port charges, “We con­sume what we pro­duce” aims to high­light the qual­ity of prod­ucts made in Greece in the hope that it will con­vince shop­pers to buy them.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the new move­ment made their first pub­lic ap­pear­ance yes­ter­day to pro­mote an up­com­ing event at Syn­tagma Square in cen­tral Athens. The event, which will take place on Mon­day, May 30, and Tues­day, May 31, is be­ing billed as a ma­jor pro­mo­tion of Greek food and drink.

“Our move­ment aims to pro­mote the mes­sage ‘I dress Greek, I eat Greek, I make Greece my tourist des­ti­na­tion’ to all Greeks,” said for­mer Athens Mayor Dim­itris Beis dur­ing a press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day. “By buy­ing Greek prod­ucts we take part in the ef­fort to pro­tect jobs, to stop shops clos­ing down and to sup­port our farm­ers, our pro­duc­ers and our tourism sec­tor,” he added.

The move­ment will or­ga­nize the event with the help of pri­vate com­pa­nies from the food and drink sec­tor, and the sup­port of the Agri­cul­tural De­vel­op­ment and Food Min­istry. It will fea­ture more than 60 Greek com­pa­nies.

Nikos Sk­oulas, a for­mer tourism min­is­ter who is vice pres­i­dent of the ES­TIA group that rep­re­sents the pri­vate firms sup­port­ing the ini­tia­tive, sug­gested that all Greeks should can­cel any plans to travel abroad for their va­ca­tions and spend them in their home­land in­stead. “We are liv­ing in con­di­tions of eco­nomic war,” he said. “We can no longer wait for some­one else to make the first move. We have to make the first move by sup­port­ing Greek prod­ucts.”

The deputy chair­man of the Gen­eral Con­fed­er­a­tion of Greek Small Busi­nesses and Traders (GSEVEE), Yian­nis Kav­vathas, re­minded con­sumers that they have the power to de­cide what prod­ucts shops stock. “We con­sumers de­cide what goes on the shelves through our pur­chas­ing habits,” he said, adding that prod­ucts dis­play­ing bar­codes that be­gin with the num­bers 520 are usu­ally from Greece.

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