I have been covering this for years now, and the trend rolls on in 2013: regular Greeks are abandoning the Euro in favor of trading via barter, timebanks and other methods that don’t involve Brussels, bureaucrats, or derivatives.
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.”
“A utopia without the Euro.” Think about that. It’s one more example of these elaborate, heavy, expensive and fragile systems actually providing negative value to those who use them. Greek people aren’t praying to get back into the fantastic, prosperity-generating and FUN Euro system – they are trying to get outside of it so they can do what humans do best – trade with each other and learn from each other.
The bureaucrats in northern Europe and the Rube Goldberg central bank engineers think they are going to save the world, but many people are just hoping to get them out of the way.