Anna Kucinska
25 March 2015

Building a strong co-operative economy in Greece – a strategy for co-operative development

The KAPA Network from Ioannina and Cooperatives Europe have organised a collaborative and interactive workshop for 30 participants from cooperative enterprises, associations and research organisations across Greece to help develop a strategy for co-operative development in Greece.

The workshop was held in the context of the Greek economic crisis and its aftermath. Vast numbers of Greeks across the country have either lost their job or saw their work income reduced by more than a quarter while public services for health and education have constantly deteriorated. A climate of great disappointment about Greek politics and society and worst of all, a climate of mistrust in general seems to reign within Greece.

During the workshop a straight forward strategy for cooperative development in Greece was developed, based on:

A Political Agenda for Cooperatives in Greece, in order to develop:

  • a modern general cooperative law as the umbrella for all sectoral cooperative laws
  • a regional cooperative business support network
  • a Cooperative Association as Representative of all Cooperatives in Greece   

A Business Agenda for Cooperative Development in Greece focusing on:

  • capacity Building of Cooperative Enterprises
  • financing of co-operative enterprises.

Klaus Niederländer, Director of Cooperatives Europe, and contributor in the workshop, commented: Cooperatives are a tool for empowerment of people, especially in times of crisis, by working together to achieve common goals and thereby creating or rebuilding trust between people. There was an air of ‘sharing’ in this workshop in Athens and of never giving up. If everyone focuses on the 80% we have all in common in our needs and aspirations, then there will be no problem with the 20% of differences. On the contrary those 20% will contribute to the various answers to be found for building a strong cooperative economy in Greece.

The follow-up report of the workshop can be found on Cooperative Europe’s website.

 

Source: Cooperatives Europe, https://coopseurope.coop/

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