Greece to block TTIP unless geographical indications are protected
EXCLUSIVE / The Greek government is ready to veto the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and the EU unless it ensures increased protection for key agricultural geographical indicators.
According to a document from the Greek Ministry of Economy, seen by EurActiv.com, Athens is not optimistic about the pact’s future due to the American rigid stance, even though the country is working towards a mutually accepted solution.
“There is no evidence that it is possible to proceed with the agreement, as the US is not willing to engage in concessions which are necessary to close the negotiations in areas such as public procurement and shipping services,” the document reads.
Greece is particularly concerned about the impact of TTIP on agriculture and specifically, on geographical indications.
The ‘hot potato’ for Athens
In a recent interview with EurActiv, United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack admitted that geographical indications were ‘not an easy issue’ in TTIP....MORE
...The Feta case
EurActiv was informed that Athens is concerned about traditional feta cheese (Protected Designation of Origin) which is also crucial for Greek livestock.
A Greek official told EurActiv that livestock played a key role in the country’s development planning of the agriculture sector for the growth, employment, and SME’s.
“The feta cheese should be definitely protected from unfair competition,” the same official said, adding that this product has undergone misuse and usurpation by third countries’ companies in the past.
The official continued, saying that based on worldwide demand feta cheese has an enormous potential and can become a pillar of development for the agri-food industry....