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Greece and the Inter-War Economic Crisis$
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Mark Mazower

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202059

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202059.001.0001

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The Trade Slump

The Trade Slump

(p.114) (p.115) 5 The Trade Slump
Greece and the Inter-War Economic Crisis


Oxford University Press

The period of export growth in Greece which had begun with the tobacco boom in the early 1920s ended in 1929. Two commodities — tobacco and currants — accounted for 60–70% of total exports, and the country's balance of trade was heavily affected by their performance. After 1929 neither fared well and export earnings declined until 1933. The most striking collapse was in tobacco sales as German merchants, hit by the onset of the slump there, ran down their stocks and reduced purchases. Between 1929 and 1932 drachma earnings from tobacco exports were halved. Since tobacco was not just the single most important source of Greek export and tax revenues, but was also of vital political importance — with northern Greece a key area of Venizelist support — this chapter looks in some detail at how the export crisis hit the tobacco economy, and how it affected the various groups involved-the state, growers, merchants, and workers.

Keywords:   Greece, economic crisis, tobacco industry, political economy, tobacco exports, export crisis

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