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The cooperative movement from South America shares its experience in Greece

20 May 2013 [ English ] français ]

Representatives from worker cooperative federations and dedicated support structures in Brazil, Argentina, Italy and Canada shared their expertise with several Greek stakeholders. The group participated in the premiere of the Greek version of the documentary Together (Mazi) and also met civil servants from the Ministry of Labour who wanted to better understand the experience of worker and social cooperatives in other countries, and in particular, business transfers to employees under the cooperative form.

The Greek version of the documentary Together, produced by CECOP - CICOPA Europe and translated by the Greek NGO for the development of cooperatives “KAPA Network”, was screened in Athens on 13 May. This event was promoted and supported by the Greek Member of the European Parliament Nikos Chrysogelos (The Greens). The documentary screening was followed by an informal debate where the Secretary General of CECOP, Bruno Roelants, introduced to the audience the main characteristics and the potencial of worker and social cooperatives in terms of local development, employment and the creation of wealth.

On that occasion, both CICOPA and CECOP members’ experiences in the field of business transfers in countries such as Brazil, Argentina and Italy were shared with presentations by Arildo Mota Lopes, President of CICOPA Americas, José Orbaiceta, President of CICOPA Mercosur and Maurizio de Santis, in charge of the industrial sector at the Italian cooperative organization LEGACOOP -ANCPL. Claude Dorion shared the Quebec experience of MCE Conseils in providing advisory services to companies also in the specific field of worker buyouts. Concluding, Pierre Laliberté from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) underlined the central role that can be played by business transfers under the cooperative form and more participatory economic models in the current global scenario.

The enthusiastic participation of the audience, composed of various types of local stakeholders such as NGOs, associations, cooperatives, local authorities and trade unions, showed evidence of a strong interest in a further development of these types of enterprises in Greece, in order to answer to the main challenges of the European economic crisis. Among them was a representative of Viome, an enterprise in Tessaloniki that is now under the control of its own employees who are trying to establish a cooperative, amidst great difficulties.


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