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Guest Post: The Greeks Have Already Dumped the Euro

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Via Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

[ZH: We first noted the shift to a barter economy that is occuring in Greece back in April. But Mike's excellent update below shows that this 'barter' has progressed to a new 'alternative' currency]

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.

 

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Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:22 | 3123571 Whatta
Whatta's picture

The US frowns on competetion to its own fiat currency:

Described by some as “the Rosa Parks of the constitutional currency movement,” Mr. von NotHaus managed over the last decade to get more than 60 million real dollars’ worth of his precious metal-backed currency into circulation across the country — so much, and with such deep penetration, that the prosecutor overseeing his case accused him of “domestic terrorism” for using them to undermine the government.

if you ask him...he will give a different account of what occurred.

“This is the United States government,” he said in an interview last week. “It’s got all the guns, all the surveillance, all the tanks, it has nuclear weapons, and it’s worried about some ex-surfer guy making his own money? Give me a break!”....

 

http://reason.com/blog/2012/10/25/bernard-von-nothaus-awaiting-sentencing

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:48 | 3123688 WTFx10
WTFx10's picture

“This is the United States government,” he said in an interview last week. “It’s got all the guns, all the surveillance, all the tanks, it has nuclear weapons, and it’s worried about some ex-surfer guy making his own money?

 

No the jewish mafia is worried it will lose its control tp print and loan at interest so it's just using its employees in the Government, CONgress,Senate ,POTUS, Supreme Court Judges and all the other traitors to the Republic to make sure that never happens.

 

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:26 | 3123598 unununium
unununium's picture

Why believe that whoever prints these "Tems" will not use their power for evil?

Hard currencies = PM's and bitcoin.  Nothing else.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 21:02 | 3124333 Matt
Matt's picture

I find your faith in bitcoin interesting. The developement team are essentially the central bank, with the power to make changes; the mining pool operators are the banks.

around 75% of all bitcoins mined have never changed hands. Less than 10% of the money supply is actively used for exchange.

Confirming a payment can take a long time. I martingaled SatoshiDice for over 300 bets, which among other things gave me some decent insight into BitCoin gfundementals. Even with transaction fees paid, it typically took 1 hour for a payment to get verified. Once, a transaction had a complexity of 1100 Bytes, so the transaction took 36 hours to go through, even with fees paid.

For now, people are using it on trust. Once someone breaks that trust, people will have to wait for confirmation on their payments. Pay for your meal when you order, and hopefully, byt the time you are ready to leave the restaurant, the payment has been confirmed.

I like bitcoin, but this model of integrating transaction processing into the mining, at a rate of 1 block per ten minutes, seems pretty problematic. Especially since miners can choose to mine empty blocks (no transaction fees) or to ignore complex transactions.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:27 | 3123602 Whatta
Whatta's picture

competition is indeed frowned upon

Mr. von NotHaus was arrested on fraud and counterfeiting charges, accused of having used the Liberty Dollar’s parent corporation — Norfed, the National Organization for Repeal of the Federal Reserve — to mount a conspiracy against the United States.

At his federal trial, witnesses testified to the Liberty Dollar’s criminal similitude to standard American coins. They said his coins included images of Lady Liberty and cheekily reversed “In God We Trust” to “Trust in God.” Then again, his coins were made of real gold and silver, as American coins are not, and came in different sizes and unusual denominations of $10 and $20.

In his own defense, Mr. von NotHaus testified about a “philanthropic mission” to combat devaluation with a currency based on precious metals and asserted that he was not involved in “a radical armed offense against the government or their money.”

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:29 | 3123607 Pseudo Anonym
Pseudo Anonym's picture

nothing new in british columbia, canada: salt-spring dollar since 2001, backed by silver and other pm since 2006:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_Spring_dollar

http://saltspringdollars.com/about-us/

http://saltspringdollars.com/about-us/history.html

 

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:49 | 3123692 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

Just picked up a color laser printer.  Can't wait to start printing my own currency that looks just like yours.  So which suckers....oops vendors use the stupid bucks?

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:59 | 3123722 Pseudo Anonym
Pseudo Anonym's picture

good luck w/ that:

Just picked up a color laser printer. Can't wait to start printing my own currency that looks just like yours.

from their faq:

Can Salt Spring Dollars be counterfeited?

Without being too overconfident, Salt Spring Dollars are among the most secure documents printed anywhere in the world. In addition to using special paper, unique serial numbers and gold overfoil printing, we have arranged hidden security holograms that even the Canadian and United States government don't include, and counterfeiters would have much more reason to try to fake those currencies than ours. Nonetheless we're always vigilant and take continuous active measures to protect the security and trust of our bills.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 21:13 | 3124342 Matt
Matt's picture

Salt Spring Island Dollars are backed 1:1 with Canadian Dollars. No Precious Metals or other Commodities. Even says so right in the links you provided.

EDIT: They apparently have a 1/2 ounce silver coin with $50 face value. It sounds like (unconfirmed) you still have to pay $50 CDN to buy a $50 silver coin. 

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:44 | 3123669 debtor of last ...
debtor of last resort's picture

ZH is fight club. For more reasons than just one. It's a fight for freedom, as long as the net is free. After that, it's up to us.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:47 | 3123683 KingTut
KingTut's picture

This happended in the USA during the depression. ALl kinds of "scrip" was produced to keep small towns going when their local bank went bust.  Its a collectable on e-bay today, so it still has some 'value'.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:48 | 3123684 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

All these magical ideas with no means of stopping counterfeiting and no means of enforcing any law if counterfeiting occurs - unless you want to drag the person doing the counterfeiting to the center of the old village for a good ole' stoning.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:59 | 3123737 moonstears
moonstears's picture

Your masters should be scared, geek, the plot will thicken.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:01 | 3123743 crzyhun
crzyhun's picture

In Communist countries during the cold war, there was barter and an underground econ. Why not now? It worked well all things considered. In Hungary it was maszec = magan sektor = entreprenaurial effots. You cannot truly kill it. Though the 1984 types in the Admin really are trying to do their best...

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 19:50 | 3123823 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 I wonder what form the [ Tem] trades in? Is it virtual currency, or do the { Volocians} have a little wood shed with a couple wood carvers making "wooden fiat", for the [Volos] mint?

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:21 | 3123840 GottaBKiddn
GottaBKiddn's picture

Here in the Fema Camp all currencies are allowed, but there's no food.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 21:35 | 3124394 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

You must be in Camp 16. I am in #17, over the river. We have a scrip with ophone's pic on it called the "obey," but it's pronounced "Obie." You can get smokes, cards and soap with them.

1 reefer is 20 Obies.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:54 | 3123963 GRsilverking
GRsilverking's picture

Major ZH propaganda here. Volos is a piece of shit little village town by the mountains where most people make money from selling goat milk & cheese. These people have a fucked-up accent & no one can understand them. I WILL NOT even give this article ANY merrit. 

The EURO was never accepted by many towns but they just had to use it. Example: cup of coffee cost 30 drachma before EURO. After Euro the same coffee was 2-3 EURO but 3 EURO is now 10 times as much while salaries stayed the same. THEY hatted they EURO. Athens people most embrassed it. Do you DD

 

Did I mention people there take a shower once a week since WWII? 

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 21:17 | 3124356 Matt
Matt's picture

So, goods and services increased in price 10-fold, wages and income stayed flat, and these people are idiots for not wanting to get reemed?

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 03:27 | 3124785 Athenian
Athenian's picture

You moron. Say something useful of keep it to yourself.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 06:30 | 3124884 Seer
Seer's picture

"most people make money from selling goat milk & cheese."

Do YOU eat cheese or drink milk?

Are you a (frustrated) soapmaker?

When food starts to be more widely valued then perhaps these people have more value with which to barter for soap with?

I digress... Food is so old school!

True fundamentals: Food, Shelter and Water

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:54 | 3123965 GRsilverking
GRsilverking's picture

Major ZH propaganda here. Volos is a piece of shit little village town by the mountains where most people make money from selling goat milk & cheese. These people have a fucked-up accent & no one can understand them. I WILL NOT even give this article ANY merrit. 

The EURO was never accepted by many towns but they just had to use it. Example: cup of coffee cost 30 drachma before EURO. After Euro the same coffee was 2-3 EURO but 3 EURO is now 10 times as much while salaries stayed the same. THEY hatted they EURO. Athens people most embrassed it. Do you DD

 

Did I mention people there take a shower once a week since WWII? 

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 18:06 | 3124000 q99x2
q99x2's picture

I recommend using orgasms for currency.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 06:31 | 3124886 Seer
Seer's picture

Go fuck yourself and be a rich bastard! (sorry, couldn't resist :-) )

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 19:56 | 3124211 Clint Liquor
Clint Liquor's picture

When Silver was $4.50, North Idaho had a local currency in a one ounce silver coin. Everyone accepted it for $10. Funny, they all disappeared a few years ago.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 20:44 | 3124303 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Is that Greek for Timmah?

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 21:20 | 3124361 Debugas
Debugas's picture

when you make currency scarce (EUR in greece) then people invent their own means of exchanging goods and services (create local currencies on the fly - "you owe me"s and "I owe you"s)

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 03:46 | 3124799 Transformer
Transformer's picture

there's nothing wrong with a scrip or paper currency based on barter.  Nothing wrong that some bankers couldn't F up, though.  As long as the currency is for the people, and they maintain it honestly, it will work great.

There was a book written by Silvio Gessell  that led to scrip currencies being tried in various town in Germany and Austria in 1932.  This was during the depression, and the economies of these towns did a 180 degree turn in just a couple months, and flourished.  The central banks put a stop to it though.

Most people forget that Hitler, whatever else he may have been, turned the German economy around, from horrid, to the wonder of Europe in just a couple years.  He did this by applying some of the theories of money from Silvio Gessell and others.  When a currency is desgned to work for the people and not so the bankers can steal, miracles are possible.  Gold and silver are not out of the picture, if you want to save money, you do it with PMs.  If you want do commerce, use the scrip.

http://alt-money.tribe.net/thread/70e5eb29-853d-44ca-9faa-b789d1757037

http://www.lietaer.com/2010/03/the-worgl-experiment/

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 17:55 | 3125836 Cap Matifou
Cap Matifou's picture

+1

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 04:24 | 3124821 AgAu_man
AgAu_man's picture

Fact is, ppl can (and eventually do) get scammed with local currency as with national currencies. The difference is that one of these limits the benefits and the damage locally. Human nature is human nature, and the inevitable thus always happens. I don't feel enlightened, just amused.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 06:36 | 3124890 Seer
Seer's picture

Yeah, it's all relative...  I warn people that it won't be utopia when things collapse and govt is (supposedly) off our backs; the threats will be closer and more personal/up-front, though they won't be as likely to affect as many people (but, as they say, when your neighbor is unemployed it's a recession and when you are unemployed it's a depression- it's relative).

I accept that it's inevitable that things are going to be more localized, so that's the direction I'm hedging for.  If it were looking like it was going the other way I'd hedge in that direction.  Adjust or die... (well, on a long enough timeline...)

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 04:38 | 3124832 Joe A
Joe A's picture

Volos is a nice place, I go there every year on my holiday to Greece. Not particularly pretty but very relaxed (underneath the usual Greek city 'bussyness'). Also checkout the 'potato' movement, a movement that -among others- brings producers and consumers of agricultural produce together, cutting out the middle man. People need to help themselves.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 06:41 | 3124894 Seer
Seer's picture

I don't think that there's necessarily anything wrong with middlemen.  If one is a small farmer preparing for, traveling to and from, and selling at the market can consume a LOT of time, time that the farmer might be better served applying at the farm.  So, it really depends on whether one finds value in a middleman; it's about properly assessing opportunity cost (keep in mind that "time" is the ONLY thing that one cannot get more of).

Middlemen cornering markets is yet another thing...

Sun, 01/06/2013 - 03:34 | 3126679 Joe A
Joe A's picture

What is happening in Greece and many other countries is that farmesr get a really low price for their produce and have to adhere to all kinds of conditions of the middlemen, supermarkets and other retailers. Sometimes they even get paid under the costs of production but they need to get some money. They often also get paid very late and have to wait months for their money. So yes, the middlemen are cornering the market. This movement brings producers and consumers directly together which is not only good for price and quality negotiations but also for social cohesion.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 08:32 | 3124973 Tony_42
Tony_42's picture

This is an indicator of who really holds power, the people. Too bad most don't realize it. The day is coming when the organized theft and oppression being foisted on the people of the world will end.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 11:10 | 3125102 Navymugsy
Navymugsy's picture

Great half hour report on Greece from Al Jazeera. I love Al Jazeera! Does that make me a terrorist?

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WatDQ2Mxnfw

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 00:34 | 3128737 nidaar
nidaar's picture

There is a great short story by Eric Frank Russel on this: "And Then There Were None".

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!