On the other hand, supporters of the governing coalition and of Minister Apostolou offer several arguments in his support — but not in support of the increase in the Tunisian quota. His supporters point out that Apostolou was not at the September meeting where this proposal was first approved; rather, a member of the temporary caretaker government attended the meeting in that pre-election period.
Furthermore, the discussion of the Tunisian quota at that point was not primarily about agricultural matters under Apostolou’s jurisdiction, but about humanitarian assistance for a country that was the victim of jihadist terrorism.
Two recent press releases from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food emphasized that Apostolou had on several occasions objected to the proposal and the fact that it was drafted without consultation with agriculture ministers, as well as expressed concern about its effect on farmers. The press releases added that there had been no final decision on the quota increase, and no increase in Tunisian oil imports into the EU so far.
Apostolou warned that “those who for reasons of petty political confrontation cultivate an atmosphere of panic among the producers are playing the game of speculators who seek a collapse in the price of outstanding Greek olive oil,” urging them to be careful.
article sourceGreek debate over the EC proposal to increase duty-free imports of Tunisian olive oil,