Although Greece is one of the older Member States of the European Union, its agricultural structures have not followed the same evolution compared to those of other Western European countries. In the majority of the latter, the number of farms and farmers has declined subsequently to the modernisation movement, while Greek agriculture has maintained a high number of farms and farmers. The Greek case can be considered as a paradigm between two EU country groups: the old and the new Member States. This paper deals with the reasons leading to this phenomenon: how do Greek farms manage to resist to an increasingly liberalised environment and to the reduction of EU and State financial support? Why do young people go on dealing with agriculture? This is a curious fact given the hostile natural environment, the low productivity and intensification of these farms. Moreover, this paper deals with some other questions relevant to the ways small farms function and contribute to landscape planning, environmental management and sustainable development of rural areas in general. Finally, some scenarios are developed about the future of European agriculture in the context of forthcoming changes that result from the CAP reform and liberalisation.


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