Greek Druggists Want Sales Monopoly

Greek pharmacies are closed more than they're open
Greek pharmacies are closed more than they’re open

Greek pharmacists, already angry the government is months behind paying them overdue subsidies for the country’s health care system, said they will resist reforms that would allow non-prescription drugs such as aspirin to be sold in supermarkets.

The druggists say only they are qualified to sell drugs that don’t require a doctor’s order although international lenders have been pressing the government to break up monopolies given certain professions which enjoy guaranteed profits and limit competition.

The Panhellenic Pharmacists’ Association’s board of directors is expected to meet on March 5 to decide what to do about the reform insisted upon by the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB).

Unlike in the United States and many other countries, Greeks can only buy items such as non-prescription pain killers in drug stores which are closed most afternoons at 2 p.m. There is a rotating system in which some are open at other hours during the evenings and into the next morning but most are closed otherwise.

Unionists warned that if the government surrendered to the “irrational demands of Troika representatives without a fight, the Euro-elections could take place with closed pharmacies.” That was in reference to May elections for Greek municipalities and the European Parliament.


  1. The pharmacists union is one of the last bastions of Soviet-style controls of a free-market. This is absurd in a country which likes to boast of Western style governance and a free business environment. The nation can arguably be called “the last communist country in Europe” due to this restrictive travesty foisted upon the public.
    The inconvenience and dangerous situation of only finding closed pharmacies on the weekends (with sick children or the ailing aging) is an outrage. There are eight inoperable pharmacies near my own home on any weekend, for which I must go out into the rain searching for the one that serves a whole geographic region.

    This putting of the public at risk for the sake of the “warlords” or mafias is inconceivable only in countries Iran, Iraq, Yemen, North Korea, China and Cuba. Such monopolies only serve the few owners of the markets (and of course their politician friends who sponsor their restrictive actions through kickbacks). Of course the Troika highlights its demise as one of the economic measures to put the nation back on its feet. Competition yields lower prices, better service and more convenience to the public–is that too much to a public to ask for? The fact that it still hasn’t been removed yet just goes to show how intractable the thievery and political patronage still is in this land.

  2. You are right. The leftist unions are out of control. Unfortunately no one seems to condemn communist extremists like comrade Tsipiras who encourage that behavior (including violence, which is the net result of their over the top anti-government rhetoric). While GD gets all the foreign press, there is silence with Syriza and KKE???

    Its almost as if the cold war didn’t happen. The former Yugoslavians are now ridiculously framed as “ethnic Macedonians” (blatantly obviously Slavs) and the communists are treated as democracy advocates (many in Tspiras flock admire the tyrannic Soviet Union and want Euro-communism)

    When I say Greeks are currently the target of bigotry, I’m not saying as nationalist propaganda. Its true. The anti-Greek hate is so extreme we are being targeted for ethnic erasure. (see the countless smug patronizing bigots that try to downplay the Skopians transformation into “ancient Macedonians” and how they abuse the name to insinuate Macedonia Greece is “occupied”)


    “The creation of the Macedonian nation, for almost half of a century, was done in a condition of single-party dictatorship. In those times, there was no difference between
    science and ideology, so the “Macedonian” historiography, unopposed by anybody,
    comfortably performed a selection of the historic material from which the “Macedonian” identity was created. There is nothing atypical here for the process of the creation of any modern nation, except when falsification from the type of substitution of the word “Bulgarian” with the word “Macedonian” were made.” – Denko Maleski, former Minister of foreign affairs of FYROM

  3. “Modern Slavs, both Bulgarians and Macedonians, cannot establish a link with antiquity, as the Slavs entered the Balkans centuries after the demise of the ancient Macedonian
    kingdom. Only the most radical Slavic factions—mostly émigrés in the United States, Canada, and Australia—even attempt to establish a connection to antiquity […] The twentieth-century development of a Macedonian ethnicity, and its recent evolution into independent statehood following the collapse of the Yugoslav state in 1991, has followed a rocky road. In order to survive the vicissitudes of Balkan history and politics, the Macedonians, who have had no history, need one.”

    – FYROM’s favorite historian, Eugene N. Borza,
    “Macedonia Redux”, in “The Eye Expanded: life and the arts in Greco-Roman Antiquity”

  4. “It should be noted that there is NO connection between the Macedonians of the time of
    Alexander the Great who were a Greek tribe and today’s so-called ‘Macedonians’
    of the ‘Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’ or FYROM, who are of Slavic origin and related to BULGARIANS.” – David H Levinson, ‘The Encyclopedia of Ancient Cultures’

  5. Britain had pharmacies liberalised 40 years ago. There are pharmacies in supermarkets. In a Greek supermarket you cannot even find paracetamol – but if you go to a Greek pharmacy, you can buy 10 kg of paracetamol without a doctor’s receipt. Crazy monopoly

  6. “Greek pharmacists, already angry the government is months behind paying them overdue subsidies”

    That sums up the stupidity of our far left tilted system. Too many Greeks are “upset” because the government isn’t giving them some sort of subsidy. ERT, Phramacy, Doctors, Port Workers, Farmers, etc.. etd.. Every day someone is striking or rioting for handouts.

    For once I’d like to hear these leftist unionists and special interest groups say ….

    “NO. I don’t want a government handout. I love my country and don’t want to burden any other families with higher taxes to fund my wages… especially not in this time of great difficulty.”

  7. Years of leftist oriented unions striking for more and more laws to protect themselves from competition (what leftists frame as “human rights”) Our leftists even thought retiring at 50 made sense. Chicken came home to roost.

    Unfortunately even today our leftists are still endlessly shamelessly demanding govenrment handouts. Still supporting illegasl (doubling down on their stupidity by supporting the communist crazies of Syriza)

    After a massive wave of illegal immigration and massive government overspending… their world view hasn’t changed an iota. There is a saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

  8. The fake “Greex” identities simply doesn’t work! Unlike in the other countries, fake “Greex” can only postpone the inevitable, but in vain…

  9. Amazing how the Skopian coward can’t even acknowledge black and white evidence from third party historian, his own national heros, and his own elected leaders admitted they are not Macedonians.

    “We are Bulgarian more than the Bulgarians in Bulgaria. The Serbian not only want to colonize Macedonia with Serbs from other part of Yugoslavia, but they wish to kill our
    Bulgarian consciousness .The population of Skopje is pure Bulgarian.” – Krste Misirkov

    “Those who live in Skopje and say that that is Macedon and Alexander’s homeland are as ignorant and outrageous as if someone was to say that Oxford University was really in
    Belarus and Oxford was Minsk”” – Prof. Robin Fox Lane Oxford University

    “We are Slavs. There’s no connection between us and Alexander the Great. ” –
    Kiro Gligorov, President of FYROM

  10. The fake “Makedonski” identities simply doesn’t work! Unlike in the other countries, fake “Makedonski” can only postpone the inevitable, but in vain…

  11. Why you people worry so much about the name of a country and ancient history. I guess this is the only sense of pride (false pride) as modern Greek society is a failure. Too many thieves and unions demanding they be pampered by the state. What a colossal failure. Macedonia is a place where people can really feel proud and have justice.

  12. Tell it to the fish Skopian.

    If names don’t matter than your relatives in the former Yugoslavia won’t mind changing it… rather than say coming to Greek Reporter pretending to be “Canadian’ to obfuscate their real roots.

    Conscious cockroach propagandists like you are living proof Greece has very real security concerns.