The idea is simple. Farmers sell their products directly to the consumer and so cut out the middleman making the product much cheaper. The farmers can earn more money from their products and the consumers benefit by saving up to half on the normal supermarket cost. A 60kg sack of potatoes costs 19.50 euros, compared to to almost 40 euros in a supermarket. The supermarkets are now responding by slashing their prices.
The potato movement started in northern Greece about a month ago and is proving so successful that it has now arrived in Athens The idea is growing ever more popular as Greeks continues to struggle with their worst recession in modern history.
The sales of the potatoes are now being organized by a growing number of municipalities keen to participate. Customers pre-order the potatoes. After payment they are given a receipt, which they then hand over to the farmers, who then give them the potatoes.
Other similar schemes are in the pipeline for many basic products like rice, flour and olive oil.
These are responses to an increasingly difficult economic situation. A civil engineer who works on construction projects, says that work has almost totally dried up and now he has to cut things out. "We are just trying to live, but it's very hard", he said.
Unemployment in Greece has now soared to 21% in the population as a whole and 51% among the youth. A total of 15,000 more public sector jobs are to go this year adding to the thousands lost over the last three years. The minimum wage is also to be cut from 750 euros per month to just 500 euros. With statistics like these, the future for many Greeks looks increasingly bleak and saving every euro is the order of the day.
slides (verb: to slide) > deslizarse, resalar
the country slides ever deeper into financial difficulties. > el país cae cada vez más en dificultades financieras.
sprung up (spring up) to come into existence suddenly - surgir
a new idea has sprung up aimed at saving money. > una nueva idea ha surgido como objetivo ahorrar dinero.
cut out > eliminar
middleman > intermediario
slashing (verb: to slash) slashing prices = cutting prices dramatically
benefit > provecho, ventaja.
keen (adjective) keener, keenest mostrar mucho intrés, tener ganas
1) She is keen to start work. - Tiene muchas ganas de empezar a trabajar;
2) I'm keen on travel. - Me encanta viajar.
receipt > recibo.
pipeline > en proyecto
1) Plans for the new road are in the pipeline. > Los planos para la carreterra están en proyecto.
dried up (phrasal verb: dry up) > agotarse
cut things out > eliminate things - excluir, eliminar
1) They have been cut out of the project. - Se han excluido del projecto.
2) I have to cut out sugar. - Ttengo que dejar de comer azúcar.
soared (verb: to soar) increase dramatically. - en alza
order of the day - orden del día
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