Greeks continue to abandon the Euro in favor of barter

Eric Garland Currency Trends, Economic trends 4 Comments

Volos-alternative-currencyI 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.

  • NavyBlues05

    When I was a kid, I once heard that nothing strikes greater fear within a banker than hearing the words, “Hey, I bartered for it.” Bartering, a means of survival when underway on a large aircraft carrier. Money has no value once the anchor and mooring lines have been hauled in and stowed. Liberty Call, however, immediately creates an entirely different and opposite monetary policy.

    • “Money has no value once the anchor and mooring lines have been hauled in and stowed.” That is a fascinating observation. I’m trying to think of how it relates to today. I think we’re in a massive of game of pretending money has intrinsic values – but the anchor was pulled some time ago. (Maybe with Nixon and the gold standard?)

      • I find it interesting that stag-flation really started in earnest during the 70’s.
        Could it be that a basis of value in precious metals is required to properly pursue “full employement” monetary policy without incurring stag-flation? (as opposed to the “inflation-targeted” policy which has been in place since that period?)
        I’d have to do more research, because I haven’t actually looked at that angle before.

  • The individual nations which compose the “euro zone” may have been nato allies, but were always fiercely independent and defensive of their individual citizens against the de-humanizing factors which took root in America starting from the late 60’s onward, primarily because the events of WWII were quite fresh in the minds of the populace, and people there were always very politically engaged.

    The EU as a construct was meant to allow international conglomerates to subvert this national sovereignty by adding a super-authority to the existing governments which dilutes the votes of their respective peoples and is far-further removed from public accountability than their parliaments.

    anti-circumvention laws, internet censorship initiatives, offshore-friendly trade policies, and others would NEVER have been accepted in the vast majority of what now composes the EU if not for this construct undermining the rights of their people to fair representation that represents their interests over those of international conglomerates.