Greeks respond to crisis, calling for social co-operatives

In 1750-1770, 22 villages in Tempi, Central Greece, formed several small-sized cooperatives which eventually united into a single modern version of cooperative known as the “Common Company of Ampelakia” in 1772, providing European markets with high quality cotton yarn products.

The current situation is recorded here.

social economy in Greece graphicco-ops europe logoCooperatives Europe, which sees a growing interest in collectively owned enterprises, rooted in local communities, creating and maintaining local employment, has been promoting cooperatives in Greece during 2012, the international year of cooperatives.

POE-OTA, a Greek municipal workers’ union is making demands as services close down:

  • municipalities must continue to offer social services,
  • workers must receive outstanding payments
  • government and local governments must not cancel social services
  • “social cooperatives” should be established,
  • with start-up capital to be given by the municipality.

greek municipal workers rallyThere have been rallies in support of these demands in Athens, and elsewhere. It is hoped that services, such as “Help at Home”, municipality  kindergartens and music schools, will be offered and managed by social co-ops with currently jobless (ex) municipality workers re-employed, becoming shareholders. 5% profit would go to the funding reserve, 35% to workers and 60% to cooperative activities and the creation of new work.

The next post is about a Greek co-operative store which was set up in a similar way to the Rochdale Toad Lane Store.

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