Greece Goes Medieval - 2/3rds Of Wages Paid In Barter

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by KeepTalkingGreece blog,

Do you remember the serfs and servants and villeins and peasants in the good old times of feudalism and the Middle Ages? If you don’t, I have good news for you! The custom of working in return of goods instead of salary revives in Greece of modern European Union and of exquisite Euro area. The results of a survey conducted by the Labor Institute of the Confederation of Labor Union (GSEE) are shocking but not unexpected. KTG has often reported in the four years of blogging about these sweet little working and payment conditions of modern Greek slaves living under the feudal law of austerity, recession and  competitiveness.

Laborers receive salary with delays of 3 to 12 months.

Laborers receive 1/3 of their salary, the rest is being paying through services like sleeping in a hotel free of charge, free food and coupons for purchases of food and other goods from supermarkets.

All above cases refer to full time job of 8 hours per day for 25-30 days per month.

Employers who cannot pay salaries give:

1. free sleep in hotels, free food


2. pay salaries with at least 3 months delay and not on monthly basis.


3. they do not pay full 13th and 14th salary (for Christmas/Easter and vacation) as obliged by the Labor Law.  They give food items and fuel coupons, instead, and force employees to sign that they have received the full bonus. GSEE estimates that one million employees have not received neither the 13th nor the 14th salary.

Young employees below 25 years old get hired with monthly contracts for part-time work of 4 hours per day and for salary of €180 per month. By 25 working days per month this could be translated into a wage of €7.2 per day! – It makes no sense here to try to identify the wage per hour…. it could be some €1.72 per hour! I remember when the first labor ‘reform’ drastically cut wages in 2011, my readers could not believe that the per-hour wage was 3 euro!

According to Labor Law, minimum wage for those below 25 years old is €480 gross for full-time work. But who cares about the laws when jobs demand is high, unemployment is dancing and cash is short because the banks have been saved but they pour not a recapitalization cent into the market.

According to Labor Hiring  statistics for January-April 2014:

From 423,174 job vacancies,

232,383 were for full time job


140,527 were part-time jobs


50,264 were rotation jobs. (sources:,

I suppose, Greek laborers will be soon allowed to pay their rent and utility bills with “food stamps” and “detergent coupons.”

It’s odd that while in 2011 ans 2012 Greeks made a step backwards to Dickens’ times, in 2013 and 2014 had a big jump back to Middle Ages.

PS I can well imagine that in a couple of years, the Troika will complain about the shortage of labor craft and empty social insurance funds in competitive Greece.


middle ages

Happy Middle Age society

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gh0atrider's picture

gh0atrider works for Bitcoin!

Pladizow's picture

How will Merkel tax a chicken for a cow?

gh0atrider's picture

Chickens are an NSA plot.

jbvtme's picture

why is ignoring the monetary system considered regressive? bartering and trading outside the system is exactly the prescription for the fiat cancer which ails us.  you kill two birds with one stone: the bankers and bureaucrats. no interest no taxes.

Cathartes Aura's picture


bartering is an agreed upon transaction that bypasses the mafia "skim".

therefore, best to dis-credit this as quickly as possible, before it catches on.  plant the "regressive serf" meme quickly! 

as if non-fiat inter-actions haven't been taking place all along - mustn't give late-sleepers any ideas,

best sedated, who benefits?

Stackers's picture

Who wants to open a business in Greece ?

You only have to give every employee 6 weeks paid vacation - by law - you also have to give them 2 year end bonuses equal to their normal pay - by law.

DaddyO's picture

Forget Greece, what about the USSA.

I just listened to this talk on barter after a large scale event, looks like the timing was spot on!


robertocarlos's picture

We just need a new calender with an extra 2 months. Obamuary and Hilluary. The 16.5% wage increase would really help.

teslaberry's picture


its not that you're wrong, its that you're focussing on one context at the expense of the other. 


MONEY is a hugely powerful tool for building wealth as barter is highly inefficient. 

by taking control over the money and forcing the residual impoverished clasess to barter to survive---the money masters have turned you into native americans using wompum and barter to get by. 

bless those who willing abdicate power. but to those who are forced into poverty and don't want to abdicate the power to cotinue living a 'middle class' life, you are being robbed by being forced out of using 'money. 


in a relatively honest system, where money fuctions in a STABLE MANNER, debasement and the financialization and insurancization and tax shelterization model of running an economy does not force people out of using a highly efficient tool for coordinating the voluntary creation of wealth. 


barter isn't bad per se, it's just the weaker tool of those no longer able to make advatage of 'money'. 

the money masters aren't 'losing' because you are bartering. you are bartering because they have finished sucking you dry. the threat of the poor, and those who barter generally, is that they might revolt and KILL and OBSTRUCT the system they have set up. 

this is a serious threat but not one posing great difficulty. 

how the masters handle the 'outcasts and poor'. 

1) spy on them

2) ostracisize them in the eyes of the 'middle class' 

3) put some in jail

4) harraass them

5) destroy any stability they create for themselves independent of the state

6) when necessary just kill them 

7) if necessary make some part time government jobs systems for them, allow some to 'exit' upwards

8) spread drugs alchohol and disease in their ranks

9) put them in prison by criminalizing their existence. 

PTR's picture


bartering is an agreed upon transaction that bypasses the mafia "skim".

therefore, best to dis-credit this as quickly as possible, before it catches on.  plant the "regressive serf" meme quickly! 

as if non-fiat inter-actions haven't been taking place all along - mustn't give late-sleepers any ideas,

best sedated, who benefits?

As a side note, if you haven't yet, you should really read "The Five Stages of Collapse" Dmitry Orlov.  He brings up some really good points about where barter fits into an economic system, along with "gift."  Worth the read.

fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

The book is only $9.99 for a kindle version. I just bought it. 

john39's picture

i was thinking the same thing... this is just typcial money changer spin to smear honest transactions as backwards...   barter is only backwards for them because they have a hard time taxing and controlling it.

daveO's picture

Hard time? Virtually impossible. Argentina was forced into it a dozen years ago, after the banksters sucked them dry.

11b40's picture

I have often wondered if anyone ever says yes to questions the IRS asks about barter.  If so, why?

jez's picture

I'm all for trading outside the system, but the problem with barter is that it requires a double coincidence of wants.


If I mend shoes for a living and I'm hungry, then I have to find someone who wants his shoes mended and who wants to pay with a chicken.


If I find someone who wants his shoes mended but wants to pay me with a wheelbarrow, I have to decide if that is a step forward for me -- that is, if a wheelbarrow will be more attractive to the next chicken-seller I encounter than my shoemending services.


It's very inefficient. (Note: I'm not saying that banking and bureaucracy is efficient.)


You get to thinking: what we would then need is a -- what could we call it? -- a medium of exchange, whereby everybody's goods and services were assigned a numerical value determined by the operation of a free market. Then we could exchange tokens or tickets instead of bartering.


Not much chance of that happening, of course.

NoDecaf's picture

Take the wheelbarrow. It's a good trade for shoe repair.


Kprime's picture

two wings and a thigh. throw in a porter house and you got a deal.

Remember, with the appropriate hedonic deflator, a chicken = a cow.

SWRichmond's picture

Saison, bitches.  I want saison with my two wings and a thigh.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Go Greece!  Kirk loves* the Parallel Economy:  Barter, Cash, CryptoCurrencies, PM, RE (Real Estate)

Especially RE outside one's country of domicile, as it need not be reported to the (t)axman, nor can it be seized by him.  And nothing wrong with having a cache of 'goodies' buried on said RE.  Ha. Ha. Ha.

* I love it because it limits the size and the seize of government/rulers beyond the boundless ambitions and greed of Central Banksters.  In effect, we "give unto Caesar" no more than is due him under the consent of a free and informed People, a People who are duly represented in honest governance.  All taxation beyond these natural limits, is nothing but organized and self-sanctioned fraud, theft and oppression that contravenes the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.  I also love it because it keeps/returns a level of natural privacy due to its citizens, which ensures that the government (and its puppet rulers) fear the populace more than they need fear its government -- if healthy checks & balances are to be maintained.

[Holds up 3 fingers and asks] Can you read between the lines, (t)axman?

Citxmech's picture

Got any stats on BTC usage in Greece?  That would be an interesting proxy for what we'll probably see globally eventually.

BobTheSlob's picture

What are the odds that if you aren't getting paid in currency that the cable company has shut down your internet access?

Oh I'd say about 100%. Bitcoin is now magically worth ZERO to a Grecian.

gh0atrider's picture

The internet cannot be shut down like some light switch you fool.

Matt's picture

someone still has to pay for internet access. Unless Google comes along and offers you fibre-to-the-premises for a one-time $300 charge, which is a pretty sweet deal.

NotApplicable's picture

You need to read up a bit on the subject of "core routers" there, phonestar.

gh0atrider's picture

Who owns all the core routers?


Matt's picture

phone companies mostly, I think.

NoDecaf's picture

BMR 1200 big band, Tellabs 7100 and 7100 nano, Jumiper ERX 1440, Fujitsu flashwave 4500, Fujitsu 9500 (it's a real nice machine),Juniper MX960, LATA cores, flashwave 4100... etc etc...

I know a thing or two about this stuff...

the important thing to understand is that they ALL need power. Gobs of it...and when that goes down, you better have someone tending to that backup generator. Thusly, No bitcoin.

JustUsChickensHere's picture

and you need to read up on meshnet .... the Internet is more flexible than you indicate.

Matt's picture

You going to set up a global meshnet? So you can send a payment from California to Poland?

One of the big issues with bitcoin is that without a single network, the blockchain will fork into multiple divergent blockchains.

NoDecaf's picture

Do you think the guy selling busted up furniture for home heating in Athens would accept bitcoins?

RafterManFMJ's picture

...and barter is the money of peasants...

WmMcK's picture

Debt is the money of slaves.

BobTheSlob's picture

Hey goatherder...what's bitcoin worth when the lights go out? I'm looking at my shiny stack right now...when I turn off the's still there!

gh0atrider's picture

It will be the exact same when lights go off.  Lights do not go off all around the world all at once.

BobTheSlob's picture

LOL...that's called Denial...not just a river in Egypt. When the electricity goes out, you have zero Internet access, and your bitcoin can't even be used to wipe your posterior. Just think what happens when a hostile government wants to shutdown a potential rival to the $USD...lights out amigo!

Duke of Earl's picture

Well, they eliminated rivals when they confiscated all gold with Executive Order 6102 in 1933.  Thus, making all stackers criminals.  When the lights go out, you won't be trading gold either...

gh0atrider's picture

And most businesses do not accept cash either when the lights go out.  You will just get blank stares from a pimple-faced employee, "sorry our systems are down".

snr-moment's picture

So.....the systems CAN go down?

JustUsChickensHere's picture

Individual systems DO go down ... all the time .... The Internet  (in toto) has never gone down.  Even if it did, it can be restarted ... and anything that can put the entire Internet down (think global EMP or massive solar flare) ... will also shutdown water, sanitation and distribution systems..... PM's, BTC, FRN - all are useless in that scenario.

11b40's picture

We are all outlaws in the eyes of America.


We can be together
Ah you and me
We should be together
We are all outlaws in the eyes of America
In order to survive we steal cheat lie forge fred hide and deal
We are obscene lawless hideous dangerous dirty violent and young
But we should be together
Come on all you people standing around
Our life's too fine to let it die and
We can be together
All your private property is
Target for your enemy
And your enemy is
We are forces of chaos and anarchy
Everything they say we are we are
And we are very
Proud of ourselves
Up against the wall
Up against the wall fred (motherfucker)
Tear down the walls
Tear down the walls

daveO's picture

Cue the coming EMT strike they regularly report on. Bank accounts lost, aw shucks.

p00k1e's picture

The lights went out in the Northeast United States circa 2003 for a couple of days. 

gh0atrider's picture

Who fucking cares about United States?  The world is a lot bigger place than northeast United States.

Soul Glow's picture

What the fuck am I going to do with a bitcoin anyway?

heavy.metal's picture

spend it = sell it for dollars (to Bitpay), who in turn will send the dollars to a retailer

save it = sit on it until you feel it's a good time to "spend it" (see above)

Sounds like the only useful thing you can do with a Bitcoin is selling it??


JustUsChickensHere's picture

A modest number of merchants choose to hold BTC rather than convert it all to the local fiat currency.  A friend of mine who does use BitPay does exactly that.  He takes a percetange of each trade into local fiat - to pay some suppliers who only accept fiat ... keeps the rest in BTC as savings, and inflation hedge, and to purchase some PM's (directly) for BTC..

Unfortunately he seems incompetent at boating and also has recurring computer disasters ... lost all the PM's in that boating accident, and the BTC has been lost along with the computer problems.

It is amazing that his business still struggles along at about break even, despite the disasters. /sarc


p00k1e's picture

I thought you were U.S. based.  Many apologies.