Could Syriza boost the co-operative economy in Greece?

Alexis Tsipras leader of the Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza) speaks in Palai De Sport, Thessaloniki, Greece, a few days before the national elections 2015 (Image: Arvnick /

While the Eurogroup discusses its next steps following the decision to extend financial assistance to Greece by up to four months, there are indications that left-wing Syriza’s win in January could boost the co-operative sector. Reaching an agreement with European counterparts remains the new government’s top priority, but rebuilding the country’s economy is another major […]


Time to extend the seven co-operative principles?

In Spain, Mondragon operates on its own set of principles, which address wage solidarity

The seven co-operative principles were last updated and formally adopted by the International Co-operative Alliance in Manchester in 1995. They are based on the eight original Rochdale Principles, and have been updated amended periodically. But now further change is needed. The world doesn’t stand still. Over the last few decades we have seen enormous changes […]


Remembering Rosie Foster

Rosie Foster

Rosie Foster died on 8 February at the age of 61, a couple of short months after being diagnosed with cancer. She was an extraordinary human being who made a deep impression. I can’t remember when I first met Rosie; it seemed she had always been around in Leeds. She lived in Tangram Housing Co-op […]


The ethical options for a co-op company pension


In 1901 there were ten people of working age for every person who’d retired. A hundred years later, the ratio was three to one – and by 2050 the Department for Work and Pensions estimates that there will only be two people of working age for every person receiving a pension. Given that not every […]


Editorial: Getting justice for co-operatives

Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece, has seen co-operatives established across different sectors, including water, retail and energy

Social justice is looking set to be a key talking point around this year’s general election. The fall out from the 2008 financial crisis is becoming much clearer now with, for example, the decreasing reliance on the state and the increasing use of food banks. Politically, politicians are pushing the social agenda, which could be […]


Hulme’s co-op cluster continues to develop

Hulme today (Image: Charlie Baker)

Welcome to the People’s Republic of Hulme. It is smaller than it used to be. It is safer and less anarchic. Some say it’s not as creative or exciting. But it has survived. More than 20 years after the Crescents, once Europe’s most notorious housing estate, was demolished, its spirit lives on in Homes for […]


Call for pioneer investors at community hydro

The bencom has already won the tender to develop a hydro at Chamberhall Weir, on land owned by Bury Council

It is the last chance to join Bury Community Hydro as a ‘pioneer’. The bencom in Bury, near Manchester, is working to establish a hydro energy project using an existing weir on the River Irwell. Its £40,000 Pioneer share offer is designed to attract people who want to get involved during the project’s early stages. The closing date for applications is […]


The Greek co-operative movement during the fiscal crisis

Workers of the VioMe factory in Greece (c) VioMe

Greece was one of the first European countries that faced the reality of the 2008 financial crisis and its severe impact on the social welfare system, labour market and individual enterprises. In the business sector particularly, a great number of small and medium-sized enterprises, which are the prevailing Greek business model, have either stagnated, gone […]


Fighting for the soul of Britain’s building societies

Nationwide and the Skipton Building Society made it through the financial crisis and took over some building societies that were less fortunate. But the purchase of Britannia, with its toxic balance sheet, was a disaster for the Co-op Bank

It is widely believed that the 2007-8 financial crisis was a crisis of big banks and investment banks. These unaccountable behemoths borrowed large amounts of volatile wholesale funding to use for highly risky speculative activities, putting both their solvency and their customers’ money at risk. Building societies, which have restrictions both on the extent of […]


International News round-up: 24 March

Andalusian worker co-ops are creating new eco-jobs

Vatican City Co-operatives promote the economy of honesty, says Pope Francis. At a meeting of 7,000 members of the Confederation of Italian Cooperatives, the Pope said: “The Church has always acknowledged, appreciated and encouraged the co-operative experience.” He said the co-op sector was on “a real mission that requires creative imagination to find forms, methods, […]