Alternative Local Currencies in Europe: Time is Funky Money
From London to Athens via Toulouse, Europe is gripped by a sort of monetary euphoria. Everyone wants to create their own currency! Is it a direct challenge to eurocrats? Probably. Is it a response to the crisis? Maybe. Part one in a series of articles on a phenomenon that transcends national borders.
We’re going to repeat the weary phrase…Will Greece End Up Leaving The Eurozone? The coastal city of Volos, half-way between the capital Athens and the second-largest cityThessaloniki, is ready for any eventuality. At least, it’s nearly ready. Some months ago, a local exchange trading system ( ) was created in the port city, which has around 140, 000inhabitants. The project involves about a thousand people, for whom time has now replaced money as a medium of exchange. For example, I can give an hour of guitar lessons to a member of my local network for an hour of service from one of the other members. If, instead of hours of service accumulated, I receive coupons or ‘local alternative units’ (called ‘Tems‘ in Volos), I can also use these to buy goods and services from businesses that are members of the network. The idea is simple and user-friendly - once you reach Tems you have to start using them, and you can’t owe more than - and there is no more effective a system when you find yourself pockets empty and unable to buy anything.
Cashless currency in Europe
In the north, making our own moneyWith 70, 000 B£ in circulation and a ‘pay-by-text’ system tested by champagne socialists‘. On the continent, it’s that holds the record for alternative currency in circulation, with the equivalent of euros available in various local monies. The leading German example is the Chiemgauer, a currency exchanged by some consumers in businesses in . These are impressive figures, to be sure, but it’s hard to imagine the leaders of the European central bank worrying about the breakthrough of alternative currencies. What’s more, no European government seems able to take these initiatives seriously. subscribers, you are most likely to see these notes being exchanged in cafes and restaurants, thus drawing accusations that the Brixton pound is a currency for ‘
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