10 years have passed since the establishment of the Union of Working Consumers of Greece in 2009, after the initiative of Greek trade union officials.
The establishment of a massive social consumer movement has been a crucial initiative and eventually a commitment taken by the General Confederation of Workers of Greece in March 2007. The President of the latter, referring, at the time, to the creation of a new, fair and sustainable model of economic growth, stated the following: “The Union of Working Consumers of Greece is a tool of intervention based on participation – information – choice – intervention of the consumers. This intervention aims at improving the actual purchasing power of the consumers’ income and contributes to constraining speculation, fraud and unfair and abusive business practices against consumers.”
The consumer movement of GSEE plays an active role in the last decade, as it regularly informs, raises awareness and trains the consumers in dealing with abusive practices while supporting debtors facing debt management and property auction issues.
The achievements of ΕΕΚΕ for the period 2009-2019 are presented in brief below:
- Assistance to Debtors in order to enter under the provisions of Law 3869/10 (“Katseli Law”): Percentage of Debts Written off 67,75%
- Management of Heavily Indebted Cases: Application to enter under the “Katseli Law”, Settlement of Debts to Public Utilities, Protection of Primary Residence from Auctions, Extra-judicial Debt Settlement, etc.
- Support of Economically Vulnerable Citizens: Free Psychological Support and Empowerment Groups
- Complaint Handling and Management: Outcome of Handled Complaints 78,9% in Favor of the Consumer
- Consumer Education: More than 2000 Consumers all over Greece were trained on various issues, for example, Heavy Indebtedness and how to deal with it, New Forms of Local Employment and Development etc.
- Creation of “Traveler Rights Gr” Mobile App which received 2 Gold awards: Mobile Excellence Awards 2018-Mobile Service for Consumers; and Tourism Awards 2019-Technology enhanced experience
- Research: Consumer protection on e-commerce platforms, Consumption Trends of Salaried Employees in Greece etc.
- Publications: Consumer’s Basics, Guide to Deal with Debt Collecting Companies, Traveler’s Guide
- Actions of Social Solidarity: Recycling Rewards, Food and Medicine Collection, Actions to support flood victims etc.
- Interventions to competent Ministries: Interventions were made to all competent Ministries and relevant authorities concerning consumer matters, i.e.: the option to receive a copy of a bank loan agreement before signing it, the creation of an e-Business Register and the issuance of social policy tickets for the unemployed.
The Union of Working Consumers of Greece, operating for 10 years already, stresses the need for strong Consumers’ Unions through which consumers can claim their rights. The consumer doesn’t stand alone in this challenging task.
ΕΕΚΕ paves the way forward with modern means and updated mindset. We, the Management Board and the Workers, shall continue our work with the same courage and perseverance as when we started, back in 2009.
The EEKE 10-year Report presentations are available below.