I’m serious. It looks like local scrip is breaking out all over the country as an alternative to the Euro:
In recent weeks, Theodoros Mavridis has bought fresh eggs, tsipourou (the local brandy: beware), fruit, olives, olive oil, jam, and soap. He has also had some legal advice, and enjoyed the services of an accountant to help fill in his tax return.
None of it has cost him a euro, because he had previously done a spot of electrical work – repairing a TV, sorting out a dodgy light – for some of the 800-odd members of a fast-growing exchange network in the port town of Volos, midway between Athens and Thessaloniki.
In return for his expert labour, Mavridis received a number of Local Alternative Units (known as tems in Greek) in his online network account. In return for the eggs, olive oil, tax advice and the rest, he transferred tems into other people’s accounts.
“It’s an easier, more direct way of exchanging goods and services,” said Bernhardt Koppold, a German-born homeopathist and acupuncturist in Volos who is an active member of the network. “It’s also a way of showing practical solidarity – of building relationships.”
Basically, we are seeing a wholesale flight from the regular economy, and the concept of the Greek nation state. (It’s also a repudiation of the EU, since it sets up a system where it’s impossible to purchase non-local products)
The Guardian presents this positively, but I see it as a step toward Greece, a barely function nation to begin with, moving in the direction of Somalia.
I’m increasingly coming to believe that the Euro currency experiment, and in particular German domination of this process will lead to another war in Europe (hopefully cold, and not hot) in the next decade, as my brother (Bear who swims) has predicted, .