The country's major supermarkets have said they will not sell expired foodstuffs at reduced prices, as recommended by a government initiative aimed at providing products with a long shelf life to consumers on low incomes.

Supermarket representatives reportedly said that the initiative, which was announced last month by the Development Ministry's general secretary for consumers, Giorgos Stergiou, and came into force on Monday, is not in keeping with their policies.

Responding to criticism by consumer groups last month, Stergiou said last month that the directive had been misinterpreted by media reports and does not represent a public health hazard. The official assured consumers that the new directive does not concern expired food products, but those with a long shelf life that have passed their «sell-by» date.