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Monday, 19 March 2012

Ano Korakiana's Co-op enters a new phase

Sebastian Metallinos, Chairman of the Co-op, speaks at the AGM
(Translation below) Πραγματοποιήθηκε χθες, Κυριακή 18 Μαρτίου 2012 η πολύ σημαντική για το μέλλον του Αγροτικού μας Συνεταιρισμού, Γενική Συνέλευση, με αυξημένη σχετικά παρουσία συνεταίρων, αλλά και υποψήφιων-νέων συνεταίρων. Όπως τονίστηκε στις ομιλίες του Προέδρου και του Αντιπροέδρου του Συνεταιρισμού, ο συνεταιρισμός καλείται να γράψει στη γενικότερη δύσκολη συγκυρία μια καινούργια σελίδα στην ιστορία του γεμάτη προκλήσεις και δυσκολίες, προσαρμοζόμενος στο νέο θεσμικό πλαίσιο. Στη συνέχεια, η Γενική Συνέλευση επαναβεβαίωσε ομόφωνα τη θέση να συνεχίσει ο Συνεταιρισμός την αυτόνομη πορεία του, αντί να συγχωνευτεί με την Ένωση Α.Σ.Κ. και στη συνέχεια, επίσης ομόφωνα ενέκρινε την τροποποίηση του Καταστατικού, που εκτός των άλλων, διευθετεί τα θέματα του συνεταιριστικού κεφαλαίου και των συνεταιριστικών μερίδων.
Niki Kentarkou, Νίκης Κεντάρχου, leads a dancing lesson
Η Διοίκηση ενημέρωσε ότι ο Συνεταιρισμός βρίσκεται ήδη πολύ κοντά στην επίτευξη του στόχου για κάλυψη του απαιτούμενου κεφαλαίου, κάτι που θα επιχειρηθεί να γίνει και στο διάστημα που απομένει έως το τέλος του μήνα. Για το σκοπό αυτό καλούνται όλοι οι συνέταιροι να συνεχίσουν εντατικά τις προσπάθειες προσέλκυσης και εγγραφής νέων μελών. Οι εργασίες της Συνέλευσης έκλεισαν μέσα σε ένα κλίμα αισιοδοξίας για το μέλλον του Συνεταιρισμού μας…
Carnival 2012: An important visit to the Co-op
Υ.Γ.: 1.άμεση ήταν η ανταπόκριση τόσο νέων (ιδιαίτερα νέων σε ηλικία), υποψήφιων συνεταίρων, ακόμη και στη διάρκεια της Συνέλευσης για εγγραφή και καταβολή του αντίτιμου της μερίδας (παρά τις οικονομικές δυσκολίες),όσο και των παλαιών μελών για εξόφληση των οφειλών τους.
2. σήμερα, Δευτέρα, η Γενική Συνέλευση της Ένωσης Αγροτικών Συνεταιρισμών Κέρκυρας αποφάσισε τη μετατροπή της σε πρωτοβάθμιο Συνεταιρισμό… Μετά την απόφαση αυτή, οι αγροτικοί συνεταιρισμοί της Κέρκυρας δεν προβλέπεται να ξεπερνούν τους 5-6 (συμπεριλαμβανομένου και του δικού μας)….Ένα καινούργιο τοπίο διαγράφεται.
Olive mash at the Co-op
Yesterday's Annual General Meeting - Sunday 18 March 2012 - was an especially important one for our Rural Co-operative, with greater attendance among existing shareholders and new candidates to become shareholders. The President and Vice President of the Cooperative reminded the meeting that it was vital, in these difficult times, to write a new page in its history - full of challenges and the difficulties of adapting to a new institutional framework. All at the AGM reaffirmed unanimous support for continuing the cooperative's autonomy, rather than merging with the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Corfu. They also unanimously approved the amendment of the Constitution, which among other things, regulates the issues of cooperative capital and cooperative units. The management committee advised the meeting that the Co-operative is already very close to achieving the required capital by the end-of-month deadline. To this end they ask existing shareholders to do their best to persuade new members to register. The AGM closed amid optimism about the future of our Association ...
Rolando's extra virgin at the Co-op
1: Especially pleasing was the keenness of young people, even during the Assembly, to put themselves forward as shareholders, ready to register and pay for membership of the Co-op (despite the financial difficulties), as well as former members coming forward to repay what they owe.
2. Today, Monday, the General Assembly of the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Corfu decided to convert another previously independent co-operative...After this decision, there will be fewer than 5-6 autonomous agricultural cooperatives on Corfu (including ours) .... We see the emergence of a new environment. (See blog entry for 19 Dec'11)
Children's Christmas in the Co-op
At the seed-sharing meeting I attended at the Co-op a few weeks ago aimed at setting up an island-wide seed bank (such meetings are becoming widespread to circumvent the licensed purchase of hybrid seeds from corporate agri-business). Someone asked what was the difference between a Corfu-grown tomato and one of the new GM hybrids.
Another speaker said "The Corfu tomato will start to rot"
"Oh dear" said someone
"No no" said the speaker "The one that starts to rot is alive!"
The older farmers liked the idea of GM crops. They thought it would reduce their labour because of the long shelf life of their tomatoes and not having to use insecticide. The younger ones argued that for the sake of flavour, for the survival of insect diversity and the larger environment, they accepted the extra labour of organic farming (using no chemical resistance to insects). I hope I have the perserverance and courage to support this brave choice, by fulfilling my vow to grow the vegetables that we will have on our table next Christmas on my allotment. Some will be from seeds distributed that afternoon in Ano Korakiana.
Monsanto and others claim that with Genetically Modified seeds they are feeding the world, but we must learn to feed ourselves. It will be a struggle. The temptation of the tomato that doesn't rot is a strong one. But a tomato that rots is alive!
[Back to the future 19/2/14 - France to tell GMOs 'au devoir' by restoring GMO ban]
Seed-sharing at the Co-op
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I suffered a glitch with the 'quick edit' on my blog. The stubby pencil icon would not appear.
To edit I had to go to dashboard, find 'edit', and click on a box in a long list of blog pages; slightly more complicated. On Blogger forums users were getting only ambiguous help from the blog-publishing service. I searched around and came across Ravi Saive who told me Blogger had just introduced country specific URLs for users, e.g. in India blogspot.com becomes blogspot.in. Mine becomes blogspot.uk. To recover the universal blogspot.com I needed to 'add a little code' to my blog template. I tried inserting his suggested HTML patch, but made Democracy Street innaccessible, so gave Ravi authoring rights. He restored blogger.com and my 'quick edit' function. Whether this will get me into conflict with Blogger I'll have to see. Here's the publisher's explanation for moving to country specific domains. It doesn't explain why, when I was switched to blogspot.uk, I lost my 'quick edit' function. Here's someone who's suspicious, suspecting censorship and Balkanisation of the internet, but see comments.
My understanding is that Google are trying to be able to isolate readers of blogs rather than publishers of blogs. so they can try to stop readers in county X accessing blogs that the government of X deems illegal. So that means you are seeing an "Australian version" of the cancer-research101 blog. If that site was deemed unacceptable by the Australian government, posts or the whole blog could be blocked from Australian readers but left unmolested for Canadian and other readers.
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Postcard from Corfu
Wed 21 March - Richard Pine's latest Letter from Greece:
The normally resilient Greeks seem close to despair in this crisis....With its history of discontinuity since independence – a traumatic series of development, crisis and recovery – Greece is familiar with disaster, and many commentators say there is sufficient resilience to ensure survival. That may be true in rural areas where the villagers still produce the basics, but it isn’t true of born-and-bred city dwellers who don’t have the resources of an ancestral village to fall back on....
But for a touch of optimism see Arianna Huffington talking about Greece and a Greek Huffington Post

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I did A Passage to India for 'A' level when I was 16. At the end of the story the main characters - Indian and English - are riding together pondering friendship after what has happened but
...the horses didn't want it - they swerved apart; the earth didn't want it, sending up rocks through which riders must pass single file; the temples, the tank, the jail, the palace, the birds, the carrion, the Guest House, that came into view as they issued from the gap and saw Mau beneath: they didn't want it, they said in their hundred voices, "No, not yet," and the sky said, "No, not there."
Forster's novel was written in 1924. I read it in 1957. My family were part of the government of India, served in the military and civil services of that country. Now nearly a century after that sublime novel I have enjoyed meetings across barriers that once seemed insurmountable. I have repeated the words at the end of that novel and known that this time - 'in a hundred voices' - 'the earth' and 'the sky' did want it and said so. Of course we who ruled, and descend from rulers, have miles to go before we rest. There's no room for a millimetre of complacency, but in a few wonderful and enduring cases I've been immeasurably fortunate to hear and believe the words 'now' and 'here'. Dr. Johnson suggested it was impossible to “tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over ...”
At Brin Croft with Minoti

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Our grandson - our first - is due on 25 March. We expect him to be delayed. We are in a new expectant stage - excited, careful, superstitious, wondering...
Oliver Sebastian Hollier



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This - on problems of capitalism by David Harvey - has been floating around for a couple of years. Interesting on 'this whole Greek thing' for instance, but also as an animated summarising narrative. No solutions, tho' it seems to require far greater self-consciousness in our proliferating species about what it means to be human...What I miss is reference to the problem of human numbers and sustainability, but it's the Marxist and neo-Marxist view that if the wealth were justly distributed, over population and misuse of global resources, there would be no problems with the environment.

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