Companies in Balkans-I (1858-1865)

Blerim Abedini, ISSD- North Macedonia

If we look back in history by some internet sources for Balkans and its economic development from 19C century until today, we will understand how business sector had political impact. How much democracy was presented in some countries due to situation according to recent years.

We can see the relations of companies in the Balkans with European companies because of necessary assistance or license.This collaboration between business people In Europe will bring technological progress in many sectors as Air industry, Food industry, Machine Industry, Car Industry, Rail way industry, etc.

Greece firstly accepted this challenge in by building production companies in the 19C in collaboration with European related industries. Other countries in the Balkans are coming later with industrial investement. As follower of Greece is Turkey, Western Balkan countries in 20C century and other countries.

We have to conclude that states with good governance and democratic society had better condition for private companies

In this timeline of business companies in the Balkans I will try to show evolving and extending of certain businesses for three centuries, until today.

Because of numberous companies that are in focus through internet, I need to divide this work in few parts.

The history of Greece(19C-21C)

At the Congress of Vienna 1814-1815 (Learn about the History of Europe in the 19th century – Learning resource ( under the leadership of the four great victors over France: the United Kingdom, Austria, Prussia(Germany) and Russia, the European countries meet in Vienna to determine the fate of the territories that were shattered by the Napoleonic conquests, and reconstruct a European order.In the Balkans, the weakening of the Ottoman Empire sustains the desire for independence among Christian peoples: Serbs, Greeks, Bulgars, Romanians. In 1821, the Greeks launched a war of independence against the Ottoman Empire. From 1875, the situation in the Balkans was complicated by a series of crises. In 1914, the Ottoman Empire’s European territory was reduced to Eastern Thrace.

The first multiparty elections since 1964. A democratic and republican constitution was promulgated on 11 June 1975 following a referendum which chose to not restore the monarchy.

Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic, and a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy, and a high quality of life, ranking simultaneously very high in the Human Development Index. Its economy is the largest in the Balkans, where it is an important regional investor. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001. Greece’s unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, prominent shipping sector and geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power.

Greece rejoined NATO in 1980. Greece became the tenth member of the European Communities on 1 January 1981. Widespread investments in industrial enterprises and heavy infrastructure, as well as funds from the European Union and growing revenues from tourism, shipping, and a fast-growing service sector raised the country’s standard of living to unprecedented levels. The country adopted the euro in 2001.( Greece – Wikipedia )

History of business in Greece (19c-21c)

Allatini is the name of a historic flour milling company, founded in 1858 by Moses Allatini and his brother, in Thessaloniki, Greece.

The company had two industry sectors; ceramic production in Charilaou and flour mills in Kalamaria.

In the late 19th century, the Allatini family founded the famous Allatini flour-mills, in a large industrial area of the city, near Kalamaria. During the next decades the company was expanded, and in the 1930s the mills were the biggest in the Balkans.

Since then, the company’s ownership changed many times, but preserving its historic name. Today it is owned by ELBISCO Group and is notable for its biscuits. Its new industrial facilities are located in Sindos.

Basileiades was one of the most historic Greek machine building companies and the largest in its field in the country (as well as one of the most important Greek companies) during the second half of the 19th century. It was founded in Piraeus in 1859, and along with similar companies like Ifaistos and Kouppas in the same city, Neorion in Syros, Vlahanis-Petropoulos in Athens, Glavanis-Kazazis in Volos and others founded in the 19th century, mark the contribution of the machine building sector in the Greek Industrial Revolution. The company has also been one of the largest shipyards in Greece, especially during the first half of the 20th century.

Neorion is one of the oldest Greek heavy industries, located in Ermoupolis, on the Greek island of Syros. Today, it is one of the few remaining major industrial corporations in what used to be the industrial and commercial center of Greece, before being eclipsed by Piraeus in the late 19th century. During the 1860s, in addition to ship building, it produced steam engines, boilers, pumps, and heavy cannons. A heavy steam engine of its own design and construction was exhibited at the International Exhibition in Paris in 1878. In 1997, Neorion acquired another shipyard, Elefsis Shipyards, while it diversified into new fields such as the construction of luxury mega-yachts and subcontracting work for aerospace companies. The company is currently organized as the Neorion Group.

Achaia Claussis a Greek winery located in Patras in the Peloponnese. It was founded in 1861 by the Bavarian, Gustav Clauss. It is most famous for its fortified red wine, Mavrodaphne. The winery was the main sponsor of the local basketball team, Apollon Achaia Clauss.A major landmark was in 1955 when the company took on Konstantinos Antonopoulos, who installed new machines in the winery and recruited a team of specialists. In 1983 the company launched their new bottling plant. In 1997 the position of chairman and chief executive was taken by Nikos Karapanos.

Since its establishment the site has always been a popular destination for visitors and continues to be so.

The Fix brewery (Greek: Φιξ) was founded in 1864 by Johann Karl Fix (German: Fuchs) in Athens and was the first major brewery in Greece. About 30 years earlier, his father had started brewing beer in Greece. As purveyor to the court of the Greek king, the company was able to maintain a monopoly position in the Greek market for about 100 years. After the bankruptcy of the company in 1983 and several failed revival attempts to revive it, Fix beer has been brewed again in its own brewery since 2009. The reason for this is the relatively high popularity of beer in the country for Mediterranean countries.

PITSOS A.E. (Πίτσος) was founded in Athens in 1865 and began as a company manufacturing small household appliances and oil heaters. In 1959 it began production of fridges in a new factory; it soon invested heavily on the development and production of a wide range of modern home appliances, including TV sets. Other metal structures, including 3-wheel pickup trucks were also produced. In 1976 it was bought by Bosch-Siemens Hausgeraete GmbH. In 1996 was rebranded to “BSP A.B.E. Ikiakon Syskeyon”. Gaggenau and Neff joined the group in 1998 and 2002 respectively. Recently,the company was rebranded to “BSH Home Appliances” (“BSH Ikiakes Syskeves A.B.E”). It boasts a leading

position in the Greek household appliances market with a market share of approximately 40%. Its revenue reached €308 Million in 2005. Approximately one third of the total revenue comes from exports mainly to Europe and the Middle East.

Production facilities are now in Piraeus and the company employs 1200 personnel. It is the leading white goods manufacturer (such as refrigerators, fridges and ovens and, decreasingly, washing systems) in Greece producing 400,000 units per year, 30% of which for export. The company manufactures products that incorporate substantial innovations such as the “No Frost” and “Super Frost” technologies on refrigeration systems and “pyrolysis” system on cooking systems.

In 2020 the company announced the shutdown of its factory in Greece and its possible relocation in Turkey.