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With the help of Manfred Davidmann's concern and investigations about the underlying causes of, and solutions for, today's problems. If you want a good life in a free, fair, just and secure democratic community and society, read on.


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Open letter to:
Peer Steinbrueck,
Minister of Finance, Germany

23/07/2009

Translated from the original German by Dr. Angelika Schaumberg


Dear Mr. Steinbrueck,

Why not Millions from the German Government also for Retail Co-operatives instead of Thousands of Millions only for Banks and Multinationals?

Many villages and suburbs of cities in Germany have for years been without any retail shops. More and more citizens are getting together and forming their owns retail co-operative shops, which they can only keep alive with the help of dedicated community-serving and unpaid volunteers, because there is not enough money available for employed fully-paid workers. But with the support of the German government there could be created work and employment and the quality of life and the standard of living of people could be improved decisively.


In his work about the Mondragon co-operatives in Spain Manfred Davidmann, an internationally accepted and respected expert in management and author of a many scientific reports, analysed the way of working and the success of this group of co-operatives.

In 1982, 25 years after the beginning of the first co-operative, the very successful Mondragon group consisted among others of 85 industrial and 6 agricultural and 14 housing co-operatives. They had their own supporting bank, an insurance co-operative for social security and pensions, 43 schools and colleges and a co-operative for medical and hospital treatment.

1995 the turnover amounted to 558,778 million Pesetas (at that time 2,960 million GBP, according to today's currency exchange rates equal to about 3,460 EUR). The members of the co-operatives enjoyed a relatively high standard of living. The co-operatives created work for many in the region and they were able to export their goods beyond the borders of the country.

The Spanish government contributed decisively to this success:

A new co-operative was provided with 12.5 to 20% of the necessary capital with low and fixed rates of interest.

The co-operatives did not have to pay taxes within the first ten years and after that only half of the usual rates.


In Germany, why does the German government support banks and multinationals to the extent of thousands of millions EUR of support money? Why does the German government support multinationals, which are reducing work available in Germany, by placing their production into foreign countries, in this way achieving massive surpluses there, and seem to pay very little taxes in Germany?

As a concerned German citizen and European, I ask 'Why does the German government not support retail co-operatives in Germany in the same way as the Spanish government did so successfully with the Mondragon co-operatives, to create work in Germany and to raise the standard of living and the quality of life for the German population?'

Looking forward to your reply,
Yours sincerely

Dr. Angelika Schaumberg


Details about the Mondragon co-operatives can be found in Manfred Davidmann's report:
Mondragon Co-operatives
http://www.solhaam.org/articles/mondra.html




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