Ukraine war impacts Greek fur industry

One year after Europe imposed sanctions on Russia as a counterattack to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the grand fur exhibition hall in the northwestern Greek city, Kastoria has been deserted, Fashion Ntewrok said on Monday.

Wealthy Russian customers and lovers of expensive mink coats have drifted away from the industry, especially with condemnations by animal rights defenders.

“Russian women dressed in their brand-new furs posed there like tsarinas, but today no one sets foot here anymore,” said an employee to AFP.

Renowned for the production of furs since the 15th century, the cities of Kastoria and Siatista, in Western Macedonia had to suspend their commercial activities with Russia after EU imposed sanctions on Russia, according to Fashion Network.

In 2019, prior to Covid-19 pandemic, exports reached 108 million euros, including 44.7 million for Russia alone, Akis Tsoukas, president of the Greek Fur Federation reported.

In 2008, Greece held 25 percent of the Russian fur market, but that figure had already fallen to 2 percent by 2017, according to a study by accounting firm, Ernst and Young.

For years, the industry’s activity in the region has been suffering in light of demands from consumers in Europe to stop the use of animal fur, supported by associations for the protection of animal welfare.

The fur industry is considered the lone source income of about 80 percent of the inhabitants of Siatista and the nearby villages, underlines the mayor of the municipality of Voio, Christos Zefklis.

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