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Euros discarded as impoverished Greeks resort to bartering
Guradian UK ^ | 02 January 2013 | Helena Smith

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 ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: barter; greece; greeks

1 posted on 02/05/2013 6:39:32 PM PST by Lorianne
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To: Lorianne
locals have come up with a novel way of dealing with austerity – adopting their own alternative currency

Actually, isn't that a very, very old concept?

2 posted on 02/05/2013 6:43:21 PM PST by FoxInSocks ("Hope is not a course of action." -- M. O'Neal, USMC)
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To: Lorianne

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.


3 posted on 02/05/2013 6:43:37 PM PST by doc1019
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To: Lorianne

Coming soon to a City near you...

TT

PS I am already there ... Starve the Beast


4 posted on 02/05/2013 6:47:55 PM PST by TexasTransplant (This needs to go viral http://vimeo.com/52009124 please watch it)
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To: Lorianne

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?


5 posted on 02/05/2013 6:49:21 PM PST by SnuffaBolshevik (In a tornado, even turkeys can fly.)
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To: Lorianne

Barter is easier when you own your place, it gets harder when you rent or owe on the house and car.


6 posted on 02/05/2013 6:54:23 PM PST by ansel12 (Romney is a longtime supporter of homosexualizing the Boy Scouts (and the military).)
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To: SnuffaBolshevik

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.


7 posted on 02/05/2013 6:55:49 PM PST by allendale
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To: Lorianne
and what do they use as barter for rent, electricity, gas, etc???
8 posted on 02/05/2013 6:56:18 PM PST by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Lorianne

looks like one form of fiduciary currency is being supplanted by another form.


9 posted on 02/05/2013 6:59:06 PM PST by Bayard
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To: Lorianne

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.


10 posted on 02/05/2013 7:03:12 PM PST by stevio (God, guns, guts.)
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To: Lorianne

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.


11 posted on 02/05/2013 7:05:49 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: Olog-hai; blam; AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; ...

Thanks Lorianne.
...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.


12 posted on 02/05/2013 7:13:05 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: stevio

Here’s some Greek news from yesterday.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2985176/posts


13 posted on 02/05/2013 7:18:25 PM PST by EEGator
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To: SnuffaBolshevik

Thanks for asking the questions the “reporter” didn’t.


14 posted on 02/05/2013 7:19:33 PM PST by wideawake
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To: SunkenCiv
I bought oranges, pies, napkins, cleaning products and Christmas decorations..

I read that as she paid 40 tem for the oranges, etc... since she had 30 left.

/johnny

15 posted on 02/05/2013 7:21:14 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Lorianne

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.


16 posted on 02/05/2013 7:21:37 PM PST by BobL
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To: Kartographer
Ping.

/johnny

17 posted on 02/05/2013 7:22:46 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: SnuffaBolshevik
How long ‘til Tems are counterfeited?

Caveat emptor.

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.

/johnny

18 posted on 02/05/2013 7:32:09 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: doc1019
The way Obama is going we will be bartering to stay alive in this country soon.

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.

19 posted on 02/05/2013 7:34:10 PM PST by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: BobL
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).

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.

/johnny

20 posted on 02/05/2013 7:34:36 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Lorianne

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.


21 posted on 02/05/2013 7:36:58 PM PST by Del Rapier
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To: Del Rapier
.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.

22 posted on 02/05/2013 7:39:48 PM PST by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: JRandomFreeper

“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.


23 posted on 02/05/2013 7:41:30 PM PST by BobL
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To: Lorianne

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!


24 posted on 02/05/2013 7:45:41 PM PST by darth
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To: Lorianne

Warning! Warning! Weimar Republic territory. Is the Euro really this useless?


25 posted on 02/05/2013 7:45:47 PM PST by Viennacon
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To: BobL
When it comes to headlines, the only thing those editors could barter for is "I'll give you a beer if you say something really stupid". They are J-school grads, after all.

You did take a dig at folks on FR that do real barter. I've been known to participate myself.

/johnny

26 posted on 02/05/2013 7:47:55 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: darth
When the SHTF, I will purchase a large quantity of beans and rice.

When the SHTF, you won't be purchasing anything. Pray it never comes to that, personally, or on a larger scope.

/johnny

27 posted on 02/05/2013 7:50:38 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Lorianne
Just saw a report the other day saying that “youth” unemployment in Spain is close to 50% and the overall rate is around 25%.Unless I'm mistaken Greece is considered to be in worse shape than that.Nigel farage,a British member of the European Parliament has been warning for several years that the southern EU countries will eventually either break away or be expelled from the Euro and,I've read,several northern countries are also very dissatisfied with it.Check out Nigel Farage on youtube...particularly his speeches in the Parliament.He's an amazing guy.
28 posted on 02/05/2013 7:53:22 PM PST by Gay State Conservative ("Progressives" toss the word "racist" around like chimps toss their feces)
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To: JRandomFreeper

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.


29 posted on 02/05/2013 7:57:13 PM PST by BobL
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To: BobL
but finding people with broken air conditioners is not always easy.

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.

/johnny

30 posted on 02/05/2013 8:09:13 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Lorianne

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...


31 posted on 02/05/2013 8:34:56 PM PST by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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