The new multi-bill which will be filed today in the Greek House of Parliament as a matter of urgency is expected to bring significant changes to the Greek market. The bill consists of three main articles.
Its voting is a prerequisite for the disbursement of the next installment, which is expected to be approved during a Eurogroup meeting, next Tuesday.
The multi-bill includes the lifting of restrictions on pharmacy licensing, the pilot operation of shops on Sundays in three tourist areas, changes in the book market and regulations on the licensing of companies.
Changes in the pharmacy operation
The bill includes: Setting up a general or limited partnership company only between pharmacists, extending the opening hours for pharmacies and liberalization of non-prescription drug prices from 2017.
Furthermore, pharmacies will only be allowed to open at least 100 meters from the gate of public hospitals. The number of new pharmacies may not exceed the number of already existing pharmacies in any specific region.
The multi-bill also stipulates that all pharmacies can operate during evening hours from Monday to Friday, and on Saturday.
Changes in the book market
Regarding books, the bill includes the liberalization of prices, with the exception of literature books, which will maintain one specific price for the first edition with a maximum time limit of two years.
This means that retailers cannot make any discounts over 10% on the original price set by the publisher. In accordance with Article 33 of Law 2121/1993 literary works include: short stories, novellas, novels, poems, essays, critical essays, plays, travel works and biographies. Moreover the concept of books includes CDs and DVDs replicating the contents of a book as well as electronic books (e-books).
Changes in selling bread
The bill states that bread and pastries will be weighed before the consumer at all points of sale. It is mandatory that the signs indicate the price of the product per kilo and with certain products sold by the piece, the price per piece.
The sale of bread from all food and drink stores if they are equipped with a license is authorized, given that they meet all sanitary provisions on food safety and consumer protection.
Changes in the milk market
Milk will now be distinguished as “pasteurized milk” and “high-temperature processed milk.”
The new multi-bill removes the legal limitation of the maximum shelf life of milk pasteurization and states that the shelf life for both pasteurized and for high pasteurized milk will be determined by the method of pasteurization in every industry.
The packaging of each product must include: the date of pasteurization, expiration date and the duration of the products “shelf life.”
Finally, a new type of milk will be introduced, it will be packed within 24 hours of milking and its shelf life will be two days after pasteurization.