A little aside from the drama of the past week.
Eurostat has just reported on agricultural employment and incomes across the EU. Its figures are a damning indictment of the subsidy-junkies that run Greek agricultural policy, and indeed much of the industry itself.
Europe lost one quarter (25%) of its workforce in agriculture between 2000-9. This is neither a good nor a bad thing. It simply reflects Europe's plummeting competitiveness in this sector. By way of (some) compensation, Europe's agriculture workers made 5% more in real terms, as less productive units were replaced with more productive ones. Overall, income was down by 21.25% in real terms
Not in Greece though. Our agricultural sector held on to almost all of its workforce, with a net reduction of only 2.6%, the lowest in Europe. The tradeoff is that income per employee (before benefits and subsidies) fell by 17% in real terms. Overall income fell by 19.2% in real terms.
This 2% difference over ten years is what we get for having the 121st cheapest agricultural policy in the world. It would be the worst return on investment in the world if not for everything else we spend money on.
To understand why, see my earlier roundup of facts and figures here.