The Trieste Trade and Craft Cooperative (1906-1941)
The Trieste Trade and Crafts Cooperative was part of a network of loan banks, savings banks, banks, financial cooperatives and joint-stock companies, which the Slovenes in Trieste and its surroundings had established during the last decades of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. It operated in Trieste from 1906 to 1941. Its development and business ventures were particularly successful in the period of 1906-1918, and it had great merit in establishing the Slovene Commercial School in Trieste. It conducted business with the largest Slovene financial institutions in Trieste, the Tržaška posojilnica in hranilnica (Loans and Savings Bank of Trieste) and the Jadranska banka (Adriatic Bank). After Trieste came under Italian rule, the situation worsened and reached a critical level in the period of the Fascist regime. Financial operations were carried out under very difficult circumstances; the pressure exerted by the regime changed to violence and the financial institution of the Trade and Craft Cooperative was abolished with an official decree and merged with an Italian institution: the Banca popolare giuliana. After the Second World War, the Slovenes in Trieste, despite their efforts, could not achieve the restitution of their confiscated cooperative, nor was any financial compensation whatsoever awarded them.
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