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Manufacturing in Greece – now and then

Labros Skartsis has written a labour of love: “Greek vehicle & machine manufacturers 1800 to present. A Pictorial history“. One would maybe expect a rather thin book – but it isn’t. Skartsis wrote voluminous “tribute to a large number of engineers, designers and entrepreneurs whose efforts could soon be completely forgotten”. The tone of the volume is, understandably, somewhat desperate. Since 1981, when Greece entered the European Union, the history of Greek manufacturing is mainly a history of decline. Despite this, the book shows that Greece does have an engineering and designing tradition, even though the Greek themselves seem to be pretty indifferent about this. And even when manufacturing in Greece is finally, after almost seven years of fast decline, rebounding at least a little (graph).

Greekmanufacturing

Skartsis poses the question why Greece isn’t more of a manufacturing powerhouse, despite the significant tradition. According to him this is not caused by a high wage level but by lack of a manufacturing culture and manufacturing oriented policies. His introduction:(as I could not copy-paste plain text I’ve inserted images of the tekst, for the pictures consult the original tekst)

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  1. Calgacus
    May 2, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    The shortsighted behavior of obtuse politics restraining technical accomplishment reminded me of this story of the great Greek mathematician Constantin Caratheodory:

    “That’s nothing to what happened to me on entering Turkey. I had an engineering
    book confiscated by the Turkish police because it talked about a machine that
    made fifty revolutions a minute.”

    https://math.berkeley.edu/~chernoff/quotations.html

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