Solidarity movement and solidarity economy in Greece
The solidarity movement in Greece arose as a response to severe hardship experienced by large numbers of people in the wake of the collapse of the national economy in 2011 and subsequent introduction of austerity measures.
According to an interview with Christos Giovanopoulos, one of the founders of Solidarity for All, in 2016, while immediate provision of material needs is obviously important, the movement’s deeper purpose and power lies in reclaiming the apparatus of democracy by building working alternatives to the neoliberal model that so dramatically failed the country and its people. These alternatives provide working models of participatory, people-centred democracy in practice through their emphasis on collaborative working, use of cooperative structures, and commitment to inclusive decision-making and organisational processes. They additionally constitute a material basis for these more democratic institutions to scale up and form structures for national level governance not tied to unsustainable and inequitable social and economic models. In Giovanopoulos’ opinion, this political imperative distinguishes the solidarity movement from conventional NGO action that restricts itself to compensating for the deficiencies of current models rather than creating genuine alternatives.