Skip to comments.Euros discarded as impoverished Greeks resort to bartering
Posted on 02/05/2013 6:39:25 PM PST by Lorianne
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 none of the customers on this drizzly Saturday morning has bothered carrying money at all. For many, browsing through the racks of second-hand clothes, electrical appliances and homemade jams, the need to survive means money has been usurped.
"It's all about exchange and solidarity, helping one another out in these very hard times," enthused Ioanitou, her hair tucked under a floppy felt cap. "You could say a lot of us have dreams of a utopia without the euro."
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. As the country struggles with its worst crisis in modern times, with Greeks losing up to 40% of their disposable income as a result of policies imposed in exchange for international aid, the system has been a huge success. Organisers say some 1,300 people have signed up to the informal bartering network.
For users such as Ioanitou, the currency a form of community banking monitored exclusively online is not only an effective antidote to wage cuts and soaring taxes but the "best kind of shopping therapy". "One Tem is the equivalent of one euro. My oil and soap came to 70 Tem and with that I bought oranges, pies, napkins, cleaning products and Christmas decorations," said the mother-of-five. "I've got 30 Tem left over.
(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...
Actually, isn't that a very, very old concept?
The way Obama is going we will be bartering to stay alive in this country soon. I understand that this was the norm during the Great Depression.
Coming soon to a City near you...
PS I am already there ... Starve the Beast
Who is doing the “monitoring” of the Tem online?
Are there actual physical Tems you can carry in your wallet?
How long ‘til Tems are counterfeited?
Barter is easier when you own your place, it gets harder when you rent or owe on the house and car.
Pure trade. No taxes, no rules,no records ,private deals......No doubt the Greek government will be hounded by EU bureaucrats and soon shut it down.
looks like one form of fiduciary currency is being supplanted by another form.
I’ve been wondering what was happening in Greece lately. No word out of our media, and I did quick a search the other day with no real news.
There are or were areas in the US with a local barter currency. From a practical standpoint you’re limited to locally produced or grown, with not all local producers or growers signing on. Then there is used merchandise, second hand or thrift store fare, plenty of participants with that.
You’re not going to be able to pay your electric bill let alone taxes or a mortgage with it. If it’s purchased with dollars, the seller will likely not part with it for some other more informal type of local currency, barring desperation.
...olive oil and soap... fresh pies... second-hand clothes, electrical appliances and homemade jams... "You could say a lot of us have dreams of a utopia without the euro." In this bustling port city at the foot of Mount Pelion... locals have come up with... their own alternative currency, known as the Tem... a form of community banking monitored exclusively online... "One Tem is the equivalent of one euro. My oil and soap came to 70 Tem and with that I bought oranges, pies, napkins, cleaning products and Christmas decorations... I've got 30 Tem left over."70 Tem plus 30 Tem is one humdred.
Here’s some Greek news from yesterday.
Thanks for asking the questions the “reporter” didn’t.
I read that as she paid 40 tem for the oranges, etc... since she had 30 left.
Just an alternate currency. Unfortunately, and regardless of the fantasy world of bartering that I see on this site, one who walks around with a case of toilet paper will likely have trouble finding the proper size and style of boot they need to replace their worn out ones. It’s simply a lot easier with money. Pure bartering likely hasn’t existed for thousands of years, and if we ever try to go back to that, I suspect 98% cannot be supported (i.e., they starve).
So why and alternate currency? So that the taxing authorities can’t track (and tax) transactions.
How long until the denarius gets debased? Or the English pound? Or the US silver certificate? er... Federal Reserve Note?
People use what works. The big picture is that the populace is finding alternatives to something they don't trust.
If you're not already part of a barter network, my advice to you is (a) find one and join quickly or (b) set one up and advertise to all your friends and their acquaintances.
I have mechanics, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, electronics repair, a few farmers and more in my local barter network. We regularly exchange occasionally goods and mostly services with each other. Works out well for the benefit of all as all goods or services exchanged are negotiated directly between the two parties swapping goods or services. I've yet to find someone in my barter network feeling 'ripped off.' If they don't like the terms of the exchange, they simply don't do it or find someone else. That simple.
Looks like they are using an alternative unit of measure for currency, and pure bartering doesn't come into the picture. I'm thinking you threw up a straw man.
The best way to get out of this crisis,would be Greeks trading money or at least giving away part of their income to help others or for various services.
Instead you end up with a population that is broke and another segment that is gong broke,an actual system where money would change hands and be invested or go to some kind of personal charity.....that would work.
The whole point would be to create a system,where a wider group of people could earn cash off the books.Bartering is nice but as someone pointed out,it doesn’t take care of shelter or utility bills.
One of the more useful aspects of bartering is that it free's up cash to take care of shelter, utility and other bills that cannot be bartered for.
“Looks like they are using an alternative unit of measure for currency, and pure bartering doesn’t come into the picture. I’m thinking you threw up a straw man.”
The headline calls it bartering, but once there’s a common medium of exchange, it’s not. I’m just commenting on the headline.
When the SHTF, I will purchase a large quantity of beans and rice.
I will have my employees make 1/4, 1/2, 1, and 5 lb. bags.
The new Currency of the People!
Warning! Warning! Weimar Republic territory. Is the Euro really this useless?
You did take a dig at folks on FR that do real barter. I've been known to participate myself.
When the SHTF, you won't be purchasing anything. Pray it never comes to that, personally, or on a larger scope.
That’s fair...I did take a dig, forgot. I agree that we can all probably barter to some extent...but not nearly enough to live on if no currency was around. For example, I can probably fix someone’s air conditioner for something that’s useful to me...but finding people with broken air conditioners is not always easy.
That’s all I was getting at - there will always be currency, even where people try to ignore the state currency.
They smell bad and have red faces. ;)
I think retail cash transactions for me in 2009 amounted to less than $200. Most of that was for coffee and tobacco. And I grow my own tobacco today.
It's amazing what you can do when motivated.
Yep, no mortgage, no bills, it's a good place to be.
You do have to pony up land taxes once a year to the local shakedown/protection racket, and they don't take eggs.
Here in NJ the underground economy is thriving; those that have jobs go to work every day leaving their children at an unlicensed daycare (in “new normal” terms this simply means the apartment of an unemployed female) while they earn their untaxed dollars, and on weekends you see them spending those dollars at flea markets buying tools from unemployed Americans so they can do the jobs Americans used to do. For all the talk about illegals on welfare/food stamps, they are the only ones I see spending (untaxed) cash at Wal-Mart...