The history of the Greek post-war industry has been a pole of attraction for many researchers. However, at the heart of its bibliography is its economic and social dimension, while its technological dimension and contribution have almost been ignored.

This gap in the bibliography is filled by Lefteris Anastasakis’ book “Innovation & industrial transformation in Greece 1950-1973, Widespread myths and invisible truths”, Economia Publishing – Kerkyra Publications S.A,  a thorough research of raw material.

The book was presented on May 25, 2022 at the OTE Academy with speakers the Governor of the Bank of Greece, Yannis Stournaras and the former Governor of OTE, Panagis Vourloumis, while the journalist Paschos Mandravelis was the moderator.

Regarding the author, Mr. Stournaras said “he is a man who combines theoretical knowledge with experience. He is a volunteer, scientist, successful consultant. Before he even finished his doctorate, he surprised me with his optimism that he would find a publisher and he will publish it. And he already asked me then, in 2019, to preface it. Eventually, everything happened”.

As for the book, he said that “the Greek post-war industry has been little studied and the documentation of the research done in this book is excellent. The author outlines the broader context in which the Greek post-war industry developed. Was there industrial innovation? The author answers in a scientific way that yes, there were micro-inventions. Did Greek industry contribute to the rise of the country’s educational level? The author answers yes to that as well. Did the rise and development of industry take place in the absence of the state? Lefteris Anastasakis cites a plethora of statistics proving that the state did little to help. He also tells the story of 7 major companies.

For example, he chronicles how the Greek cement industry came in third in the world and second in Europe. Or how IZOLA became a giant. As for the history of Piraiki Patraiki, it could be a novel. Lefteris’s book opens a new field of research “.

In addition, Mr. Vourloumis said: “From the title of the book, the reader expects a technocratic text that takes us back half a century. In the chapters that dispel the delusions, there is much interest. Through the description of the course of 7 large industries, a positive image emerges.

What characterized Greece after the Occupation and the Civil War was a spirit of optimism.

Everything had to be done from the beginning. The book has a nostalgia for the Greek economic miracle. We grew in those 2 decades at a rate twice that of Europe. The chapter with the delusions dispels the myths that the Greek industrialists made their companies at the expense of the state. The book pushes us to think about how we reached the great successes of that time”.

by George Vailakis

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Extended excerpts of the book “Innovation & industrial transformation in Greece 1950-1973, Widespread myths and invisible truths”, Lefteris Anastasakis, Economia Publishing – Kerkyra Publications S.A, are published in english in the issues of Greek Business File, available here.