Alternative Currency Systems Springing up in the Eurozone

by Marilou Moursund on August 28, 2012

in Credit Crisis,currencies,Debt,Foreign Markets

As the economic downturn in Europe continues to pressure member governments to bring down their debt levels, alternative currency systems are springing up in the weaker countries like Spain and Greece.  People with little cash can trade their time for services in a return to the barter system.  From the linked article:

In Barcelona, the country’s second-largest city after Madrid, the preferred model is time banks, which allow people to trade their services in hours without the involvement of money.

“This is a way for people who are on the fringes of the economy to participate again,” said Josefina Altes, coordinator of the Spanish Time Bank Network.

Similar projects are popping up in Greece, Portugal and other euro-zone countries with troubled economies.

This trend will probably continue.  The most indebted region in Spain, Catalonia, is   The region”s debt is equal to 21% of its GDP, and the regional government has already started to cut public sector wages and entitlements.

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