Thursday, November 26, 2015

Experimentation in Greece

The experimentation in Greece for years now, especially since 2011, offers lessons for non-montary and non-market futures. An article in the Guardian earlier this year suggested that exchanges cutting out the middle merchants between producers and consumers — much like farmers' markets but centrally controlled — has been most successful:
Thousands of Greeks are benefiting from perhaps the simplest of the “solidarity economy” projects nationwide, a movement that links buyers directly to the people who produce their food, detergent and other essentials, undercutting supermarkets.
Most take orders before a monthly meeting when cash and goods are handed over. In a country with a notorious parallel market, even the government wins, because all transactions are recorded, said 38-year-old teacher Dimitris Tsilogiannis.
“We have had a great response from the public, all we do is totally legal and most importantly all sellers give receipts,” he said during an evening spent manning phones to answer queries and help buyers unable to use the internet. In the office with him were a soldier, an unemployed friend and an office worker, all of them volunteers.
Their local group has coordinated the sale of 1,500 tonnes of potatoes, olive oil, rice, flour, fruits, honey, cheese, pulses and other products at prices around a third to half of supermarket levels.