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Some historical notes on the Greek cooperative movement

The present situation in the agricultural sector -3-

(Bref historique du mouvement coopératif grec La situation aujourd’hui dans le domaine agricole, 3)

08 / 1993

Since 1850 Greece has witnessed the development of modern cooperatives based on a Western model. There are relevant examples as early as 1870 with "Self-help: Society of the Labour People" (Athens)which provided members with basic goods and food and the "Union of honest craftmanship, the Second Society of the People of Athens", which brought together marble sculptors and wood workers. Many cooperatives were born in the following years. At the end of last century/beginning of this century, peasants also started to form their own cooperatives. In 1900 in Almiros 24 peasants gave birth to the first Agricultural Cooperative. They were 44 in 1927 and in every region there was a Union of Agricultural Cooperatives. In 1935 they all came under the common umbrella of PASEGHES, the Greek Confederation of Agricultural Cooperative Unions.

Today 72% of Greek peasants aremembers of a cooperative. Some regions present a stronger cooperative movement. Among them: Peloponnesus, Central Macedonia, Srerea Ellada, Thessalia and Crete while the islands have a weaker cooperative movement. Overall there are 7.255 agricultural cooperatives with a total of 934.863 members.

Law 921 of 1979 gave new stimulus to the creation of women’s cooperatives in the agritourism sector. These initiatives have been promoted by the General Secretariat for Equal Gender Opportunities. Since 1985, 7 cooperatives of this kind have been created: Petra (Mitilini), Ambelakia (Thessalia), Island of Chios, Arachova (Boetia), Maronia (Komotini), Florina, Prespes.


coopérative, milieu rural

, Grèce


These notes,produced by Christina Petropoulou on request of IRED, are based upon "Agricultural cooperatives" by K.L. Papagheorghiou (Athen 1989)and a booklet by the Greek Confederation of Agriculture Cooperatives Unions "Agricultural Cooperative Organizations" (Athen 1991). Translated by Alessio Surian.




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