Slovakia faces butter shortages after joining EU

July 14, 2004, as reported by Slovakia faces a butter shortages just months after it officially joined the European Union. Its accession into the EU, initially seen as a stabilizing force for a country still trying to gets its hold after years of communist rule, is bearing the brunt of the blame for the shortage.

After joining the EU, trade barriers between Slovakia and its western neighbors were removed as part of the free trade agreement that exists between member countries. As a result cheap Slovak butter has poured into Austria and other richer countries, where better prices are available than at home.

Slovak supermarket shelves have been left bare of butter, with one large producer Sole Slovakia cutting domestic deliveries by 40%, reported It predicted butter price rises of 25-30% in the next few weeks.