Economy PDF Print E-mail

Author: Marianna Mastrostamati

6. Economy

6.1 Agricultural production

Main source of income for almost all residents was the production of raisins for export to central Europe.Karl von Scherzer the Austro-Hungarian consul in Smyrna, in 1873 writes in his book that the entire annual output of Cesme province was about 14,500 tones. The export took place to the ports of Trieste, Bremen, Hamburg, Marseilles, Cardiff and Amsterdam. It is significant that until 1922 does not exist in Alatsata family who has not even a farm with vineyard.

The income from agricultural production was for most people, regardless of occupation, the basic resource of life and rarely the auxiliary. The economic efficiency of production differed in the extent and number of land owners. Apart from viticulture to produce raisins, residents since the 18th century dealt with the cultivation of anise and tobacco in the 19th and the almond tree arboriculture. The Alatsatian valley was the center of high production for Rubia Tinctorum. The collection of the roots of this plant which does not need cultivation was a respected production in which workers were employed for smallholder. This production had its limits within the Ottoman Empire and the industries of Germany.

The production of other products (vegetables, cheese, beans, olives, cotton and wheat) was small, mainly intended to serve local needs and some were imported from Chios as citrus not flourished in Alatsata. The domestic livestock serves the same needs. Farmed sheep, goats and poultry, but not sufficient for local needs. There was also development of fisheries in Agrilia which supplied Alatsata with lobsters, octopus, squid and cuttlefish. Fishes and shellfish were very important element of early diet of the inhabitants.

We must also mention the oldest salt production in the adjacent salt marshes, which since the 19th century ended by natural causes. Sericulture flourished until the 19th century disease that attacks the silkworms. One of the neighborhoods called "Mulberry Tree" of many mulberry trees were planted for this purpose.

6.2. Production, Trade and Industry

The processing of grapes to the final form of raisins packed in wooden boxes was the most significant early production. Among exporters, Aristophanes Koutougkos and Savrami family members had storage of raisins in Agrilia. These were installed winding machines that remove the pomace and furnaces in which after special treatment the raisin getting golden color. After the repatriation developed the cultivation and processing of tobacco from Alatsatians who had settled in the area of Agrinio and specialized in it. The year 1922 was the most valuable crop and expected that the tobacco would be an important production. Handicrafts flourished and worked throughout the year were the mills on the tops of hills, which adorned the city features throughout its extent. After limiting of domestic production of raki by the Ottoman administration established Distillery. During the period 1920-1922 the best raki manufactured by Anthony Batolis and consumers of the called "batolini."

There were also workshops tanning, clothing and footwear, furniture, gunsmith, bricks, mills, steel, copper and brass utensils for household use. In the district 'Arvanitiko'' were bakeries because they originate from Epirus with this tradition. Separate activity were the nuns of the Monastery of St. Nicholas in manufacturing carpets and fabrics. Finally, members of the lower layers, engaged in the textile industry in the form of cottage industry. In the early 20th century founded the "factory", flour mill and a mill operated by steam, by Michael Stamatakis and George. Alexandridis at the exit of the city to Litzia (Ilica). During the period 1920-1922 John Papazoglakis installed diesel mill.

6.3. Commerce

The raisin was the ‘’rich carrier’’ product. Solve the economic problem of smallholder, ensured the economic convenience of the landowner and enriched raisin-merchants. In the raisin trade was the activity of "fatoroi" ie intermediaries who buy raisins from the producer to sell to the wholesale merchant.

By the early 19th century were raisin exports from the plain of Alatsata. Great was exported to Central Europe, mainly due to the direct connection of Cesme port steamboat to Trieste in the Austrian ship Lloyd. (Österreichischer Lloyd 1833). On the quantity Konstantinos Vlamos writes that before 1914, in Alatsata produced a total of 1,650 tons sultanas, 900 tons variety, and 600 tons of black. According to Carl von Scherzer variety was exported the ¾ at the ports of Hamburg, Bremen, Amsterdam and Trieste and the ¼ in England. The sultana in England and Austria, and black in France where used in the winery. In the city there was no organized market position. The shops every occupational activity was scattered throughout the city.

6.4. Banking system

The economic growth experienced in 1860 and to prevent cases of usury when lending became necessary to provide essential banking services data. In Alatsata, the Ottoman Agricultural Bank opened annex along with other services provided to landowners loans up to the tenth of the actual value of the estates that were placed as collateral.[2]


Garmatis C.J. & Mastrostamati M.N. (2007), ''After Alatsata. The Alatsateans worldwide'' 1st Edition: Association of the Alatsateans "The Entrance of Theotokos into the Temple”, Athens, Greece, ISBN 978-960-87159-1-2 (in greek)

Kleanthis F.N., (2003), “Alatsata my Lost Homeland” 2nd Edition: Association of the Alatsateans "The Entrance of Theotokos into the Temple", Athens 2003 (in greek)

Vlamos C.A., (1946), “Alatsata of the Ionic or Erythrean Peninsula”, 1640-1914, 1st Edition Mich. Triantafyllou, Thessaloniki 1946 (in greek)


[1] Carl von Scherzer « Smyrna », Vienna 1873

[2] Ελληνικός Οδηγός. Greek Minor Asia, 1921 (in greek).

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