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DUBLIN — Iain MacDonald’s main job as director-general of the International Co-operative Association (ICA) based in Geneva, Switzerland, is to clarify the differences between co-operatives and business. He complained that the sector is mainly ignored by the media.

Co-operatives he told the audience are people who come together voluntarily for their mutual benefit and adhere to a set of principles, which includes democratic control. Those principles that the ICA promote are no different than credit union principles: self-help, responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity.

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