• Steve H. Hanke
    05/04/2016 - 08:00
    Authored by Steve H. Hanke of The Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke. A few weeks ago, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) sprang a surprise. It announced that a...

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.

Your rating: None

- advertisements -

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Fri, 01/04/2013 - 20:37 | 3124289 Matt
Matt's picture

And that, right there, is the justification The Powers That Be will use to outlaw these alternative currencies.

A better idea would be, in my opinion, to use consumption taxes exclusively. Let's say a jurisdiction has 12% VAT and retail generally has an average 8% profit margin. Simply cut the costs of administering income tax, and charge a 20% consumption tax on all purchases made with the alternative currency. 

This tax would have to go to the local government, who would use it to pay for local services. How taxes would be remitted to higher levels of government, I do not know.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 21:57 | 3124422 Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

Why not just use a flat consumption tax across the board, as the sole tax on the current currency? Burn the tax code, abolish most of the IRS, close all tax loopholes. Can it be all so simple?

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 23:16 | 3124554 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

Not enough room for graft for the nomenklatura. Otherwise, yes it could be that simple.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 15:59 | 3123462 Jonas Parker
Jonas Parker's picture

Coming soon to a city near you...

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:03 | 3123463 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

"Central Bank currencies are debased into extinction........................"


What a load of crap.


Why are they using this Tem thingy ?

Because they don't live within a functional state that can print..............



If you don't get it by now you never will.

The euro is not real money.

Its a claim on capital...........unfortunatly using claims on capital as a medium of exchange does not work very well (for the host economy) in a debt money system.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:50 | 3123516 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

You are so slippery

Small currencies get dollarized - sucked in the Vortex

A Drachma would have to peg to the USD - Option A

OR the EUR has to peg to the USD - Option B

OR we keep the current course with it's options open - Option C

That's it, folks. C is trading the present for the future...


you, DoK, want A for everyone. without consequences, of course

well, there ain't such thing as a free meal

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:38 | 3123751 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture


Of course its the master currency..........

But the Euro said on the tin it was supposed to stop that..............it did not , therefore it has no function.......

It cannot buy enough oil and yet remains too hard for its users.


What is its function again ?

Remind me please.


nearly 2MBD of oil has been taken out of OECD Europe since 2006 and yet it remains hard !!!!!

Can you even conceptulize the waste within such a  Defective monetary system

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:17 | 3123817 Salon
Salon's picture

I dont think small currencies have to peg.

They can use derivatives to hedge exposure

And then let it float. Volatility can be managed by hedging.

With an economy without a lot of labor and capital barriers there is no problem with floating a small circulation currency.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:34 | 3123881 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

The national account data is conclusive .

Since about 1995~ there has been no rational internal economies within these euro vassal countries including France & Germany.


They must either export their wealth or create useless assets to create a  positive money (at huge real input cost) supply via bank credit creation.

This waste reduces domestic demand.


The euro is a full blown monetary & now physical world disaster zone.



Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:02 | 3123474 darteaus
darteaus's picture

And the US will replace the dollar with a new currency soon because the dollar "just doesn't work anymore."

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:26 | 3123862 SilverIsKing
SilverIsKing's picture

The Greeks replaced the Euro with the TEM.

Americans will soon replace the dollar with some PHLEGM.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 20:22 | 3124267 Enslavethechild...
EnslavethechildrenforBen's picture

Our next currency?

 They're called BULLETS

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 18:04 | 3123994 One of these is...
One of these is not like the others..'s picture

Is't it called the Amero???

And is already sitting on pallets waiting for it's day in the sun...

Thought everyone knew that.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 21:46 | 3124413 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

yes, here is a link to one of them.

Col House is on the front. Ironic.




I feel confident we will see something like this in about 18 mos or less.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 05:53 | 3124863 Seer
Seer's picture

There's always someone's pet project stuffed on the shelf somewhere.

In case people have missed the underlying current, it's about decentralization and localization, not more global unification stuff (NWO).  There are possibilities and then there are probabilities; I focus on the probabilities.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:04 | 3123482 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

i hope there are not any skyscrapers in Volos

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:04 | 3123486 The Miser
The Miser's picture

Every living animal desires freedom.  If necessary invent your own currency or barter to survive.  Regulations and taxes are killing the American economy too.  The black market was a major activity in the old USSR.  In fact, many believe the black market kept the USSR going for many years until the colapse.



Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:16 | 3123538 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Leechs and parasites don't want freedom.

They want a host to feed on. Freedom means death to parasites.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 05:58 | 3124866 Seer
Seer's picture

Really, WTF is this conversation?  Isn't this some sort of anthropomorphism?

Sometimes the tail DOES wag the dog.  Consider that it's bacteria living in your gut that keeps you alive (breaks down food and produces the energy to heat your body); who is in control here?  Are you free of your bacteria?

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 03:34 | 3124790 Athenian
Athenian's picture

The black market is the classic sign of disengaging with the official system designed to screw but the few. Everyone should do it, as much as possible.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 06:01 | 3124868 Seer
Seer's picture

Sadly, it was the black market that kept the Big Casino from total collapse (of course, the probe into HSBC's activities were never about this, only to collect some "protection" money).  Maybe there's a good (white) black market and a bad (black) black market?

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:08 | 3123498 Cap Matifou
Cap Matifou's picture

Same thing happening in Spain

In Spain, financial crisis feeds expansion of a parallel, euro-free economy


The common result in both places, people see as a wonder, how their labor all of a sudden is twice as much worth in terms of products. Not a wonder at all, with all the parasites turned off. Same was done once by the US (Lincoln) and once by the germans, by just thinking out of the box.


"Within two years, the unemployment problem had been solved and the country was back on its feet. It had a solid, stable currency, no debt, and no inflation, at a time when millions of people in the United States and other Western countries were still out of work and living on welfare"



Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:08 | 3123502 Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

Argentina's black market wants dollars:


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Along a busy street in the Argentine capital, the man in the brown suit doesn't need to speak above a whisper to sell his goods: "Money change. Money change." Those who want to swap pesos for dollars follow him through a run-down mall to a lingerie store. There, amid bras and pantyhose, he closes deals for greenbacks.

Argentines have increasingly turned to such black market money changers since President Cristina Fernandez sharply restricted purchases of dollars in banks and exchange houses to try to keep hard currency from pouring out of the country.



Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:18 | 3123551 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Nice link.  Go to Argentina, be careful while paying in dollars, and your trip is cheaper!  Also, maybe in a year or so, buying a condo in La Recoleta (a nice neighborhood) may be cheap!

We once went to B. Aires a few years ago.  Great wine and top quality beef were so cheap...

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:51 | 3123704 Doña K
Doña K's picture

In Venezuela, you get 4 Bolivares Fuertes per dollar in the bank. But, locals with foreign accounts will give you 12+ BLF's per dollar and then you deposit dollars in their account in the US.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:55 | 3123720 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

perfect example of dollarization & DollarZone membership

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:08 | 3123504 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

Bernocchio will have to change the printer plates. Fuck You Bernanke

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:11 | 3123515 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Hey everyone! At the last few days of % increase, looks like theres only 2 weeks left until all-time RECORD market highs are breached! YAY! <:D

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:11 | 3123520 greyghost
greyghost's picture

mike thanks for bring this to the fore front. these local monies have been around since at least the 1970's. ithaca new york started their ithaca hours in the 1970's after all the textile factories went south to north and south carolina. interesting to note that by the 1990's the textile factories then went even further south to central america. at this point the southern folks went to talk with the, shhhh....yankees in new york to see how they handled the "sucking" sound of business leaving. well guess what, the idea of local currency went south. so this has been going on for about 40 years in the u.s. that i know of. i did learn after reading up on the subject that this was wide spread around the world during the 1930's and the great depression. it really took hold in austria until it became a threat to the central bank. this is all legal in the u.s. as long as you don't use the word "DOLLAR", that is legally the right of the united states goverment residing in the district of columbia. don't be a nimrod like the clown minting coins using the word "DOLLAR", yep that idiot went to jail. for those who like to reseach different topics this is a great one. you just don't know where you will end up.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:41 | 3123647 laozi
laozi's picture

Thanks man! In Europe during 1900 there has been countless kinds of "coupons" acting as money in times of deflation. Seems like these things pop up in times of poverty, like a mini speculative bubble.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:12 | 3123524 XitSam
XitSam's picture

Barter also deprives the government of tax revenue.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:44 | 3123661 laozi
laozi's picture

Not always. Even with bitcoin you are legally bound to pay tax (probably up to you to do it). If you just want to avoid tax: use cash.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:50 | 3123701 WTFx10
WTFx10's picture

Barter also deprives the government of Extortion revenue.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:44 | 3123927 Cap Matifou
Cap Matifou's picture

Money is not created by taxation, but by somebody going into debt.

The sole reason in local currency is not leaving the area in any guise. Local taxes are OK, but screw outside taxes, because their application means the debt free local lifeblood is forcefully exchanged back into debt money.

Paper based scripts work until falsification starts, plus the banksters can start to buy and hoard them to restrict their amount, only to be dumped at the right moment and cause collapse of confience.

Good luck to flood the market with virtual money, that changes owner by face to face transactions. There will be some idiotic explanation, why the local survival money needs to be shut down. Or internet/electricity will be turned off in the village, to have them come to reason (ie. back to debt money slavery).

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 19:17 | 3124113 W74
W74's picture

If you've ever used Craigslist you've participated in the barter economy.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 21:41 | 3124401 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Gee, if everyone went to barter as much as praticable, somebody would run out of tax fiats.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 06:09 | 3124871 Seer
Seer's picture

By LAW all trades must be accounted for.  Barter reduces the traceability, but not the liability.

If your AIM is to reduce tax revenue you can do it LEGALLY!  Yes!  Just pay me $$s and I'll tell you the secret!  OK, seriously, the ONLY way to accomplish this is to CONSUME (trade)/EARN LESS.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 11:21 | 3125114 hawk nation
hawk nation's picture

barter is the peaceful revolution by free people

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:16 | 3123542 Lord Peter Pipsqueak
Lord Peter Pipsqueak's picture

Nobody is allowed to leave the Euro.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:58 | 3123731 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

70% of the Greeks still don't want it
still this old City line?

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 06:10 | 3124872 Seer
Seer's picture

Hotel California, great song!

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:17 | 3123546 Getting Old Sucks
Getting Old Sucks's picture

It won't take much to get a non dollar market going here as the number of people buying silver and gold increase.  Take a mechanic and a car owning customer, with a long term business relationship.  Small talk over time leads them to know they both buy silver.  One day the car owner needs about 1K worth of work on the car.  The mechanic says 1k, but I'll take 30 oz. of silver.  Perhaps the car owner's a little short of cash?  Done deal. By the time it's noticable to TPTB, it's rampant.  Bet there are plenty of silver and gold transactions happening every day right now.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:20 | 3123561 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

The mechanic might offer to fix it for 1k.

I would only offer him 20 oz of silver...

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 18:00 | 3123982 One of these is...
One of these is not like the others..'s picture

I think I'd offer as much fiat as I could, before haggling about the Silver...

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 06:12 | 3124874 Seer
Seer's picture

I'd use the fiat to buy Silver and I'd work on my own car... because, well... I'm a cheap bastard!

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:17 | 3123547 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

I'm not certain, but I think war is getting close. If the elite can't control the people with money they will try force soon.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 06:14 | 3124875 Seer
Seer's picture

When there's not enough bread to keep the masses fed (resources) then that means the circus (wars) has to ramp up: ALL WARS ARE ABOUT RESOURCES (if you have plenty of resources then you're only needing to be in a defensive stance; offensive stance means that your masses will tolerate war because they are restless [due to a lack of resources]).

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:20 | 3123562 news printer
news printer's picture

French screen icon Brigitte Bardot on Friday threatened to follow compatriot Gérard Depardieu to Russia, who was granted citizenship for tax exile


Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:34 | 3123631 Getting Old Sucks
Getting Old Sucks's picture

I remember a time when she could be a citizen any place she wanted.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 06:20 | 3124881 Seer
Seer's picture

I'd be more than happy to crank up the taxes so that all the banksters, politicians and other non-producers like them (actors etc.) leave the country for the rest of us.  Would only have to endure high taxes for a short amount of time until they were all gone.  Would be a double win- reset things w/o the problem folks.

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