Alt Labour Minister Antonopoulou highlights potential of ‘social economy’ in Greece

Developing the social economy in Greece could help stem the emigration of young Greek scientists and professionals abroad, putting the brakes on the so-called “brain drain,” Alternate Labour Minister for fighting unemployment Rania Antonopoulou said in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian New Agency (ANA) released on Sunday.

The minister said she had seen strong interest in the formation of social economy cooperative ventures while visiting Iraklio and Rethymno on Crete, as well as other towns.

She announced that structures supporting such social cooperative companies will soon be set up in each Greek region, providing free support to those wishing to set up such a company.

On unemploment, Antonopoulou said the latest Eurostat figures “merely confirm the disastrous consequences of the recessionary policy imposed on Greece after 2010.” This had shrunk the country’s GDP by 25 percentage points and made unemployment jump from 7 pct to 27 pct, she pointed out. The unemployment rate was levelling off in the last two years and decreasing steadily compared to recent years, the minister added.

She noted the need to get as many unemployed people back into work as soon as possible, even just temporarily, saying that new labour ministry programmes for job training or voluntary work aimed to achieve exactly that.