Really fascinating article about how many cities and communities in Greece have already moved on from the euro to bartering as well as alternative currencies. The city of Volos, 200 miles north of Athens with a population of 170,000 is highlighted in the article due to the size of its alternative money market centered around a local currency call the Tem. This sort of behavior will be the wave of the future in all countries, as Central Bank currencies are debased into extinction. It’s interesting because while I was in Crested Butte over New Year’s I noticed they have a local currency going there called Crested Butte Bucks and I was really surprised to see that you can spend them pretty much anywhere in town. I also highlighted this trend in my post earlier this year English City of Bristol Launches its Own Local Currency.
Now, from the Guardian:
It’s been a busy day at the market in downtown Volos. Angeliki Ioanitou has sold a decent quantity of olive oil and soap, while her friend Maria has done good business with her fresh pies.
But not a single euro has changed hands.
In this bustling port city at the foot of Mount Pelion, in the heart of Greece‘s most fertile plain, locals have come up with a novel way of dealing with austerity – adopting their own alternative currency, known as the Tem.
“Frankly the Tem has been a life-saver,” said Christina Koutsieri, clutching DVDs and a bag of food as she emerged from the marketplace. “In March I had to close the grocery store I had kept going for 27 years because I just couldn’t afford all the new taxes and bills. Everyone I know has lost their jobs. It’s tragic.”
For local officials such as Panos Skotiniotis, the mayor of Volos, the alternative currency has proved to be an excellent way of supplementing the euro. “We are all for supporting alternatives that help alleviate the crisis’s economic and social consequences.”
Full Guardian article here.