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Celebrated Greek cheesemakers brought low by inflation

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Shepherd Yannis Karganis says rising costs mean he cannot afford to live from his cheese-making business
Shepherd Yannis Karganis says rising costs mean he cannot afford to live from his cheese-making business. Photo: Aris MESSINIS / AFP

Source: AFP

On his bougainvillaea-covered farm on the Greek island of Naxos, Yannis Karganis milks his sheep, wondering anxiously how he will cope with soaring costs and keep his cheesemaking business afloat.

After the war in Ukraine sparked an inflationary spiral in the price of cereals, fuel and other goods, farmers on Naxos and across the country have been left fearing for their survival.

“I earn nothing from my cheeses,” says the septuagenarian, who makes Naxos graviera, a hard yellow cheese popular throughout Greece and beyond.

“I work day and night and despite this, I still cannot live.”

The squeeze on animal feed has resulted in a fall in milk production
The squeeze on animal feed has resulted in a fall in milk production. Photo: Aris MESSINIS / AFP

Source: AFP

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Inflation in Greece rose to 12 percent in September before dropping to 9.1 percent in October.

Even though the government announced nearly 280 million euros ($291 million) in support benefits for young farmers earlier this year, there is still heavy pressure on the country’s agricultural sector which employs 11 percent of the workforce.

“Last year, a bag of feed cost 14 euros. This year it’s 21 euros. Gasoline has skyrocketed to 2.30 euros per litre at the moment,” the greying Karganis sighs, stirring a large cauldron to make cheese in his small kitchen.

Social stress

Throughout the country, social pressure is rising in the face of soaring energy prices.

In November, a general strike on the issue paralysed Greece.

Naxos graviera is one of Greece's most popular cheeses
Naxos graviera is one of Greece’s most popular cheeses. Photo: Aris MESSINIS / AFP

Source: AFP

Dimitris Kapounis, head of the union of Naxos agricultural cooperatives, warns that if nothing changes “in the medium term, there will be no more milk on the Greek market, no meat, potatoes, or anything else.”

Naxos graviera — made from 80 percent cow’s milk and 20 percent sheep or goat’s milk — is one of Greece’s most popular cheeses.

The Greeks like it sprinkled on pasta, fried or as a table cheese.

But even carrying the vaunted European Protected Designation of Origin label, and exporting to a dozen countries including the United States and Germany, hasn’t helped stem the slide in output as costs ramp up.

This year, the usual annual production of more than 1,250 tons has already fallen by 130 tons, the cooperative said.

Lack of milk

The squeeze on animal feed and fuel has resulted in a fall in milk production, explains local shepherd Yannis Vavoulas.

“We can’t maintain feeding them properly,” the 42-year-old says.

Naxos graviera cheese has the European Protected Designation of Origin label and exports to a dozen countries
Naxos graviera cheese has the European Protected Designation of Origin label and exports to a dozen countries. Photo: Aris MESSINIS / AFP

Source: AFP

“We feed them two or three times (a day) with little food,” which means the animals produce less milk.

The crisis is so acute that some farmers have had to slaughter part of their herd, further reducing milk production.

Yorgos Margaritis, who owns 250 cows, is one of the local farmers to have already made this painful decision.

He gestures to some of his nearby animals which he says would normally have been inseminated by now for producing calves.

“(Instead), they will be slaughtered,” he says.

The cost of transporting goods from the Greek mainland is also becoming prohibitive — it takes more than five hours by boat to get from the main Greek port of Piraeus to Naxos.

Some farmers have had to slaughter part of their herd because they can't afford to feed them anymore
Some farmers have had to slaughter part of their herd because they can’t afford to feed them anymore. Photo: Aris MESSINIS / AFP

Source: AFP

In an act of desperation, the Naxos cooperative in April went as far as neighbouring Bulgaria to buy animal feed, where prices are lower.

“If the milk producers are not helped… then we are all lost,” warns Yannis Kavouras, head of the largest cheese factory in Naxos.

And as the EU’s protected status regulations permit only the use of local milk, shipping it in from elsewhere is not an option either.

“If the producers don’t bring any more milk, what am I going to use — water?” wonders Kavouras.

Source: AFP

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Obaseki’s Edo PDP Faction wins Supreme Court Judgement

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BREAKING: Jubilation as Court Gives Final Verdict on Powerful PDP Gov’s Case in Top Southern State

  • On Wednesday, the Supreme Court dismissed Dan Orbih’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) faction’s appeal, which sought to challenge the party primaries that produced the current Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki.
  • The appeal against the emergence of Godwin Obaseki was declared inadmissible by a five-judge court panel
  • Justice Centus Nweze observed in the main judgment that an appeal must be based on grounds presented to the lower court for it to be eligible for review

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Governor Godwin Obaseki has reacted to the Supreme Court Verdict on the Edo Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) crisis.

On Wednesday, February 1st, 2023, Obaseki described the ruling as “No Victor, No vanquished” and called on all party members and Edo people to unite with the party and government to rescue Nigeria.

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Obaseki reacts to Supreme Court’s judgement. Photo credit: Governor Godwin Obaseki

Source: Facebook

Obaseki lauds Supreme Court’s recent judgement

Obaseki in a statement shared on his Facebook page and sighted by Legit.ng, on Wednesday night, said,

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“The ruling of the Supreme Court today, finally put to rest the long-drawn legal tussle over the candidates that will fly the flag of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Edo State in the general election on the 25th of February and 11th of March 2023.

“As the leader of the party in the State, I implore all members to consider this development as the end of all strife within the Edo PDP and to note that this is a victory for all members. Our resolve now is to win the forthcoming general elections as this experience has made us stronger and better prepared to clinch victory.”

2023: Why tough time awaits Oshiomhole in February over his senatorial ambition

Meanwhile, Adams Oshiomhole, the former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and ex-Governor of Edo state, would be facing a tough time in the February 25 national assembly election.

Oshiomhole is contesting for Edo north senatorial seat in the forthcoming election but his major contender is a former political ally.

Also, because there won’t be a governorship election in the state, the central stage for the 2023 election in the state is the national assembly election.

Source: Legit.ng

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Panic 2 PDP governors apart from Wike’s camp reportedly threaten to dump Atiku

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More Trouble for Atiku as 2 PDP Governors Apart from Wike's Camp Reportedly Set to Dump Him

A few weeks before the 2023 general election, there are speculations that two Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors, apart from the G5 group, are threatening to withdraw their support for the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

The national chairman of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Professor Rufai Ahmed Alkali, made the claim while addressing newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, January 31.

He was reacting to Atiku’s claim that he was in talks with the NNPP presidential candidate.

“Five governors are not with Atiku. These governors are coming from powerful states. The two others have been sending messages that they will not support Atiku.

“We thought that anyone contesting an election should put his house together. We left the PDP because we knew it would implode. It is not the same party as yesterday. In the next one week, some will leave the PDP,” Alkali said.

Source: Legit.ng

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Breaking: It’s finally over as prominent G5 governor takes strong action against Atiku, PDP

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BREAKING: Governor Wike Takes Strong Action Against Atiku, PDP

  • The governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike, has withdrawn the approval he granted the PDP to use Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium for Atiku’s rally
  • Wike through a letter written by his sports commissioner and addressed to Governor Tambuwal gave the reason for his action
  • Meanwhile, the Rivers state chapter of the PDP said it is not surprised by the governor’s action and revealed its next step

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Port Harcourt, Rivers state – Governor Nyesom Wike has withdrawn the approval he granted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Council to use the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium for Atiku Abubakar’s rally.

The Rivers state governor cancelled the approval in a letter dated Tuesday, January 31 written by the commissioner for sports, Christopher Green, The Nation reported.

Wike/Atiku/PDP Presidential Rally in Rivers/Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium
Governor Wike stops PDP presidential campaign council from using Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium for Atiku’s rally. Photo credit: Gov Nyesom Ezenwo Wike – CON

Source: Facebook

Legit.ng gathers that the letter was addressed to Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state, who is the director-general of the PDP Presidential Council.

PDP campaign allegedly planning to share venue with Rivers APC

The letter accused the Rivers Presidential Campaign Organisation of planning to share the use of the facility with a “faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by Tonye Cole”.

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The letter said:

“Credible intelligence available to the government of Rivers State and recent developments now show that your Presidential Campaign Organisation is working in collaboration and in cahoot with a faction of the APC led by Tonye Patrick Cole and that it is the intention of your presidential campaign organisation to accommodate and share the approved facility for your campaign with the said faction of the APC.

“Government records show that the activities of the APC in Rivers have always been married by violence due largely to irreconcilable internal conflicts within the party including shootings and killings in the course of protest arising from the nomination process of delegates for primaries and detonation of explosives in the course of campaigns”.

The state government said it withdrew the approval because it would not risk damage to a state prized asset like the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium that could arise from the alleged planned collaboration with Toney Cole-led APC.

Rivers PDP reacts

Reacting, the spokesperson of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council in Rivers, Leloonu Nwibubase, confirmed the development.

He said the PDP was not surprised by Governor Wike’s action. According to him, the approval earlier granted by the Rivers state governor was a Greek gift.

“We will speak to the teeming PDP supporters and supporters of our presidential candidate in due course. We will continue with our campaign.

“We are very sure that the ultimate goal is for Rivers to vote Atiku Abubakar as their Presidential Candidate and that we will succeed. We will unveil our options,” he said.

PDP crisis worsens as Wike makes another strong allegation against Iyorchia Ayu

In another report, Governor Wike accused Iyorchia Ayu, the PDP national chairman, of ordering lawyers handling some of the party’s cases in Rivers state to withdraw their legal representations.

The Rivers governor described the alleged directive as anti-party, saying such acts would beget a corresponding reaction from the state chapter of the party.

He said this at the State School premises, Okehi 1, the venue of the Rivers state PDP campaign inauguration in Etche local government area on Monday, January 30.

Source: Legit.ng

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