Concurrentie voor de Euro?
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Foto: week of wonders, Flickr
Dit las ik op 'MSN nieuws': Nu de Grieken hun rekeningen niet meer met euro’s kunnen betalen, stappen ze over op alternatieve betaalmethoden. Lokale ruilsystemen komen op als paddestoelen uit de grond, mede dankzij Nederlandse open source software. In de Griekse stad Volos betalen steeds meer mensen met de Lokale Alternatieve Eenheid, in het Grieks Tems genoemd. Het werkt net als geld: mensen kunnen hun tems verdienen met klusjes of door dingen te verkopen en ze kunnen het uitgeven door klusjes of dingen te kopen. Een van de inititiatiefnemers voor het netwerk, Maria Choupis, schat dat er al een stuk of 15 van zulke systemen in Griekenland zijn gestart.

Het netwerk wordt gerund door lokale mensen zelf. Er zijn een aantal eenvoudige regels. Zo mogen mensen niet meer dan 1200 tems in bezit hebben om verzamelwoede tegen te gaan.

De website van de organisatie draait op open source software die in Nederland ontwikkeld is, het zogeheten Cyclos project. Met dit systeem is zelfs mobiel bankieren mogelijk en kunnen mensen met sms-jes betalen.

Het Griekse parlement heeft kortgeleden een wet aangenomen die “alternatieve vormen van ondernemerschap en lokale ontwikkeling stimuleert”. Ook ruilnetwerken zoals die in Volos profiteren hiervan, ondermeer met belastingvoordelen.

Volgens Choupis is er een nieuwe stemming in Griekenland, een beslistheid om “voorbij woede naar creativiteit te bewegen”. “Je bent niet arm als je geen geld hebt,” aldus Choupis, “je bent arm als je niets te bieden hebt.”
Bron: The Guardian, New York Times
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Mijn vraag is nu: kent iemand zo'n systeem van nabij en zou het succes kunnen hebben?
Helaas weet ik niet meer waar, maar ik heb gelezen dat er in Oostenrijk, in het dorp heette iets van "Wormpsch", een burgemeester is geweest die een soortgelijk idee had. Hij heeft zijn gemeente er na de oorlog weer helemaal bovenop geholpen met dit systeem.
In Griekenland zegt men dat armoede je creatief maakt.
An Experiment in Worgltopic posted Sun, April 8, 2007 - 9:19 PM by B

The year was 1932; the world was gripped by the greatest economic depression that it had ever known. One man in a small town decided to try something new to help the people of his community. In doing so the town made economic history. The town was Worgl in the Bavarian province of Germany. To understand the Worgl experiment you have to understand the man behind it. The towns mayor Michael Unterguggenberger.

Michael Unterguggenberger

Michael was born into an old Tyrolean peasant family. He lived the life of a poor European without falling into the mental trap of heavy blue-collar work. He apprenticed himself to a master mechanic. After apprenticeship he became a journeyman mechanic. At the age of twenty-one he had his first post at the Worgl railway station. His striving for social justice jeopardized his personal advancement. In taking a stand for his fellow workers as a trade union man, he was not promoted any higher. In 1912 he was elected representative for the union of Innsbruck Rail Engineers in the committee for personnel. Yet to the officials of the Austrian Railroad network he was seen as the person who represented the concerns of the workers against the moneyed interests of the railroad. Later Alex von Muralt would write that Michael Unterguggenberger always stressed that he was not a Marxist.


Worgl was a small town that had grown rapidly in the early 1900’s. Then came the crash of 1929, which quickly spread, into Europe. Michael was town councilor, he soon became deputy mayor. In 1931 he was elected mayor of Worgl. As mayor he had a long list of projects he wanted to accomplish. Projects like repaving roads, street lighting, extending water distribution across the entire town and planting trees along the streets. But in the midst of the depression out of the towns population of 4,500, 1,500 were without a job and 200 families were penniless.

Silvio Gesell

Michael read and re-read “The Natural Order” by Silvio Gesell. He talked with people in the town and convinced the members of the Worgl Welfare Committee to hold a session on July 5, 1932. In this session he gave a short summary and then proposed a “Distress Relief Program”. He stated that slow circulation of money is the principal cause of the faltering economy. Money as a medium of exchange increasingly vanished out of working people’s hands and accumulates into the hands of the few who collect interest and do not return it back to the market. He proposed that in Worgl the slow-circulating National Bank currency would be replaced by “Certified Compensation Bills”. The council would issue the Bills and the public would accept the Bills for their full nominal value. Bills would be issued in the denominations of 1, 5 and 10 shillings. A total issue of 32,000 Worgl “Money Bills” was printed and put into circulation.

Worgl Money

On July 31, 1932 the town administrator purchased the first lot of Bills from the Welfare Committee for a total face value of 1,800 Schillings and used it to pay wages. These first wages paid out were returned to the community on almost the same day as tax payments. By the third day it was thought that the Bills had been counterfeited because the 1000 Schillings issued had already accounted for 5,100 Schillings in unpaid taxes. Michael Unterguggenberger knew better, the velocity of money had increased and his Worgl money was working.

Worgl money was a stamp script money. The Worgl Bills would depreciate 1% of their nominal value monthly. To prevent this devaluation the owner of the Bill must affix a stamp the value of which is the devaluation on the last day of the month. Stamps were purchased at the parish hall. Because nobody wanted to pay a devaluation (hoarding) fee the Bills were spent as fast as possible.

The reverse side of the Bills were printed with the following declaration: “To all whom it may concern ! Sluggishly circulating money has provoked an unprecedented trade depression and plunged millions into utter misery. Economically considered, the destruction of the world has started. - It is time, through determined and intelligent action, to endeavour to arrest the downward plunge of the trade machine and thereby to save mankind from fratricidal wars, chaos, and dissolution. Human beings live by exchanging their services. Sluggish circulation has largely stopped this exchange and thrown millions of willing workers out of employment. - We must therefore revive this exchange of services and by its means bring the unemployed back to the ranks of the producers. Such is the object of the labour certificate issued by the market town of Wörgl : it softens sufferings dread; it offers work and bread.”

Worgl Success

Over the 13-month period the Worgl money was in circulation, the mayor carried out all the intended works projects. The council also built new houses, a reservoir, a ski jump, and a bridge. The people also used scrip to replant forests, in anticipation of the future cash flow they would receive from the trees.

Six neighboring villages copied the system successfully. The French Prime Minister, Eduoard Dalladier, made a special visit to see the 'miracle of Wörgl'. In January 1933, the project was replicated in the neighboring city of Kirchbuhl, and in June 1933, Unterguggenburger addressed a meeting with representatives from 170 different towns and villages. Two hundred Austrian townships were interested in adopting the idea.

One eyewitness report was written by Claude Bourdet, master engineer from the Zürich Polytechnic. "I visited Wörgl in August 1933, exactly one year after the launch of the experiment. One has to acknowledge that the result borders on the miraculous. The roads, notorious for their dreadful state, match now the Italian Autostrade. The Mayor's office complex has been beautifully restored as a charming chalet with blossoming gladioli. A new concrete bridge carries the proud plaque: "Built with Free Money in the year 1933." Everywhere one sees new streetlights, as well as one street named after Silvio Gesell. The workers at the many building sites are all zealous supporters of the Free Money system. I was in the stores: the Bills are being accepted everywhere alongside with the official money. Prices have not gone up. Some people maintained that the system being experimented in Wörgl prevents the formation of equity, acting as a hidden new way of exploiting the taxpayer. There seems to be a little error in that view. Never before one saw taxpayers not protesting at the top of their voices when parting with their money. In Wörgl no one was protesting. On the contrary, taxes are paid in advance; people are enthusiastic about the experiment and complain bitterly at the National Bank's opposing the issuing of new notes. It is impossible to dub it only a "new form of tax" for the general improvement of Wörgl. One cannot but agree with the Mayor that the new money performs its function far better than the old one. I leave it to the experts to establish if there is inflation despite the 100% cover. Incidentally price increases, the first sign of inflation, do not occur. As far as saving is concerned one can say that the new money favors saving properly so-called rather than hoarding money. As money lost value by keeping it at home, one could avoid the depreciation by depositing in the savings bank.

Wörgl has become a kind of pilgrim shrine for macro-economists from a variety of countries. One can recognize them right away by their learned expressions when discussing the beautifully maintained streets of Wörgl while sitting at restaurant tables. Wörgl's population, proud of their fame, welcomes them warmly."

The Central Bank

The Central Bank panicked, and decided to assert its monopoly rights by banning complimentary currencies. The case was brought in front of the Austrian Supreme Court, which upheld the Central Banks monopoly over issuing currency. It then became a criminal offence to issue “emergency currency”. Worgl quickly returned to 30% unemployment. Social unrest spread rapidly across Austria. In 1938 Hitler annexed Austria and many people welcomed Hitler as their economic and political savior.

Germany was headed towards WWII and with the aftermath of the war much of what happened in pre war Germany just like what happened during the war was suppressed by the world. Germany was being rebuilt in the West’s image. The Worgl experiment was relegated to history.
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Het was dus Worgl en niet Wormpsch, en voor de oorlog, maar het principe is een beetje t zelfde toch?
(25 March 2012, 16:14)Vasilis schreef:
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Het Griekse parlement heeft kortgeleden een wet aangenomen die “alternatieve vormen van ondernemerschap en lokale ontwikkeling stimuleert”.
Misschien moet de Europese regering dit ook maar gaan doen.:) Kunnen we de Euro misschien afschaffen.Rolleyes

Tol's signature Pluk de dag
Vrijheid is met je camper in Griekenland rond touren
Toevallig hoorde ik net op de radio dat de nieuwe tendens is dat jongeren uit de grote sGriekse teden naar de dorpen trekken. Ze kiezen voor leven op het land, en werken in de landbouw en veeteelt. Het schijnt ook dat er al heel veel 'vergeten' groente soorten weer opnieuw vebouwd worden. In dezelfde reportage werd ook het verband gelegd met de ruilhandel.
Ik moest gelijk denken aan het verlaten bergdorpje waar mijn schoonmoeder vandaan komt op t vaste land. Stel je voor dat daar weer leven in de brouwerij komt, zou toch prachtig zijn? En hoeveel soortgelijke verlaten (berg)dorpjes zijn er wel niet in Griekenland?
Natuurlijk heeft dat allemaal een beetje tijd nodig, maar ik vond t toch een echt positief bericht!
Cyclos is ontwikkeld door de Social Trade Organisation die alternatieve geldsystemen ontwikkelt en in de praktijk brengt. Voor meer info, zie
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Forummededeling: De links en/of foto's in dit bericht zijn alleen zichtbaar voor leden van dit forum.
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Toevallig is 2 weken geleden een van de organisatoren van het Volos TEM team bij ons op Skiathos geweest voor een voorlichtingsbijeenkomst. Het is erg interessant en inderdaad heel creatief. Je moet helemaal omdenken en niet meer in financiele terminologie denken, dat is best nog wel lastig...
In Volos doen ongeveer 3000 mensen mee vertelde hij. Wij zijn hier nog niet zover, waarschijnlijk pas na de zomer wordt er serieus aan gewerkt.
Ik hoorde van de week over iets over een 'nieuwe drachme' voor binnen de griekse grenzen en de gewone euro die dan ook nog geldig blijft? Iemand die het hele plan gehoord heeft misschien?
Want ik kan me hier nog niet echt een voorstelling bij maken, eerlijk gezegd.
Ik heb ook wat gehoord, maar ja, de laatste tijd horen we zoveel dat ik het allemaal met een korreltje zout neem.
ADO's signature Αύριο πάλι.....Morgen weer

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