The magazine Viomichaniki Epitheorisis (VE), which appeared in 1934, emerged as part of the country’s early 20th century publishing activity. The life project of Spyros Ant. Vovolinis, it filled a gap in the field of financial news and journalism. Though only 24 years old at the time, S. Vovolinis was already knowledgeable and experienced in journalism. The publication of VE was inspired by a personal ambition and a vision laid out in ‘Our goals’, his rigorously written main article in the magazine’s first issue of July 1934.
From its inception VE had a number of prominent journalists and experts on board, including outstanding personalities of the industrial sector (including the businessmen and heads of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) N. Kanellopoulos, A. Hatzikyriakos, N.I. Dedes) and the country’s political life (for instance, L. Kanakaris-Roufos, I. Pesmazoglou, and St. Costopoulos). In response to that period’s demand for more comprehensive information on international economic developments, VE also sought to collaborate with columnists and editors who contributed, alongside the main features, news and analysis on foreign issues (for instance, on foreign industrial policy and production, international exhibitions, and technological innovation).
The review also published minutes from the general meetings of collective organizations (e.g., by SEV), banking institutions (e.g., reports of governors of the Bank of Greece, the National Bank of Greece), and the findings of the Supreme Economic Council, with the aim of providing accurate and objective news to its readership. Besides articles of interest, there were regular Op-Ed columns, such as the ‘Notes’ (which continued well into the 21st century!), through which the magazine’s editors addressed and commented on current issues in the industrial sector, the economy, society and public policy, often proposing solutions (sometimes in a tongue in cheek spirit, but buttressed by facts and thoroughly researched). The covers of its first issues were plain, but in subsequent decades they became visually captivating and innovative, especially by the financial press’s conventional standards.
The VE quickly consolidated its position in the industrial and broader economic world thanks to the prestige and overall quality of its content. The growing number of advertisements – a source of significant revenue – was proof of the magazine’s upward trend and gravitas.
The dark years
The VE continued coming out on a regular basis despite the adversity of the turbulent World War II years and the Occupation. It was briefly run by Lazaros Piniatoglou (a chemist and journalist), who was a friend and associate of S. Vovolinis after the latter enlisted and was wounded on the Albanian front. In 1942, during the German Occupation of Greece, L. Piniatoglou along with Konstantinos Ant. Vovolinis (the founder’s brother) and Ioannis Milios also published the clandestine newspaper Ellinikon Aima. S. Vovolinis also worked in this project, alongside his work at the magazine. The VE, however, ‘shrunk’. Issues became sparse, though they still featured interesting material (e.g., on wheat, on the problems and potential of the Greek industry, on workers’ salaries, social security, on the country’s post-war reconstruction, on the road network, the energy issue, etc.)
The second generation
In 1990 S. Vovolinis, now of then in an advanced age, handed over the magazine’s reigns to his niece and daughter of his brother Konstantinos, Alexandra K. Vovolini, a contributor to VE since the 1970s. Under her lead, the VE restructured and was brought up to par with the latest printing standards. Its appearance was upgraded and material was added alongside long-running columns and sections. The magazine itself underwent a series of rechristenings: from Viomichaniki Epitheorisis to Viomichaniki Epitheorisi in 1991, to Viomichaniki Oikonomiki Epitheorisi in 1997, to Oikonomiki Viomichaniki Epitheorisi in 1999 and, finally, to Oikonomiki Epitheorisi in 2004). Also, the review switched from a subscription only basis to kiosk distribution in 1994.
From Kerkyra Publications to the Economia Group
Today, the Economia Group, which evolved from Kerkyra Publications, represents a new interactive business model for comprehensive and incisive news. It also spearheads the publication of Oikonomiki Epitheorisi, which over a period of 87 years has been an active participant in Greece’s economic development efforts. Besides being a rare instance of longevity in the world of Greek financial and economic news, it is also an example of how tradition and innovation can complement each other.