Athens, 2004

For over 20 years now, since the country's accession to the European Union (EU), Greek agriculture has become an integral part of European agriculture and is fully regulated by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Within this framework, radical or sometimes dramatic changes have occurred that have resulted in a progressive transformation of the sector domestically.

However, certain parameters are still dominant in the sector. It should be reminded that Greece was the first of the Southern European countries to have joined the Community.

At that time, the country was still at a much lower stage of economic development of the then richer nine Members.

An exceptionally large share of Greece's total economy was devoted to agriculture of purely Mediterranean character, and with very weak agricultural structures.

The differences were later softened after the accession of Spain and Portugal.

Even so, certain characteristics (so-called "particularities") continue to exist that considerably differentiate the Greek sector from that of the rest of the Community and still influence the Greek approach towards the continuous process of making the CAP.

* Economist, Director for Agricultural Policy in the Hellenic Ministry of Rural Development and    Food,
Vice Chairman of OECD's Working Group for Agricultural Policies & Markets.

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