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Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Potato Movement: Greeks Helping Each Other in Hard Times

As the Greek economy continues its downward spiral because of the debt and collapse of Greek institutions, the Greeks are way ahead of the rest of us because they literally are mastering the art and science of survival through mutual cooperation.
With unemployment at 21 percent and salary and wage cuts rampant — many Greeks are making at least 30 percent less than they did before the economic crisis — 1 in 11 people in Athens has been standing in line at a soup kitchen, says the Guardian. Merchants are responding to the reality of customers with considerably less cash by lowering their prices and staying open 24 hours....To the north in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, people have been buying potatoes and other staples directly from farmers. This producer-to-consumer system has become so popular that it has spread across Greece, with farmers selling onions, rice, flour, olives and (so far) more than 4,000 Easter lambs. Indeed, town halls, says the Guardian, announce the sales and farmers, after learning how much people will buy, appear with 25-ton trucks. Christos Kamenides, professor of agricultural marketing at Thessaloniki University, says that such a “unified co-operative” will help to bring bring consumers and producers together and could eventually serve as an ecomomic model..
Read the rest here 

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