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The Deutsche Friedrich-Wilhelm-Raiffeisen-Gesellschaft celebrated “200 years of Raiffeisen” in mid-March with some 550 guests at the Kurfürstliches Schloss in Mainz.

 The important reformer and founder of the cooperative movement, Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen, was born on 30 March 1818.

The Minister President of Rhineland-Palatinate, Malu Dreyer, said at the ceremony, “In times of globalisation and individualisation, the cooperative ideal is more compelling and modern than ever.” She emphasised the current importance of new cooperatives in housing construction and generating electricity from renewable energy. “We can speak of a renaissance of the cooperative idea here,” she continued, highlighting the importance of attracting young people in particular to further develop cooperative concepts with new ideas and creativity.

The Chairman of the Deutsche Friedrich-Wilhelm-Raiffeisen-Gesellschaft, Werner Böhnke, praised Raiffeisen’s influence. “Raiffeisen as a pioneer combined modesty with infectious energy. He rolled up his sleeves and spoke plainly when things were out of joint in the world of human equity,” Böhnke commented, noting that this heritage is continued by today’s cooperatives.

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