Dick Hanscom forwarded this BBC News article about a community currency used in a region of France. Thanks. -Editor
Inspired to bring Basque pride back to the region, in 2013 Edme-Sanjurjo and about a dozen volunteers launched a euro-equivalent micro-currency.
Their aim was to reinvigorate enthusiasm for their cultural and linguistic roots and keep money within the French-Basque region by supporting local
businesses. Flash forward to October 2018, and their micro-currency, coined the eusko (pronounced ‘you-s-ko'), reached the equivalent of €1
million in circulation, making it the most successful of such monetary experiments in Europe, according to The Local.
Today, 17 municipal governments and 820 local shops, businesses and associations in the French Basque Country accept the eusko as legal tender.
Euskal Moneta – the organisation headed by Edme-Sanjurjo that manages and prints the currency – says two to three new eusko accounts are being opened
daily with them.
Participating businesses are encouraged to make their shops bilingual. “We encourage business owners to learn a few greeting words in Basque
and/or have as many Basque-language signs in the shop as possible, and we provide the translation for free thanks to public subsidies,” Edme-Sanjurjo
said. “This allows young people to see Basque in public life and not be ashamed anymore.”
While the idea of printing your own money might seem radical, the concept of micro-currencies is far from novel. Indeed, Euskal Moneta was
inspired by the Chiemgauer, a micro-currency that has been available in Chiemgau region in Upper Bavaria, Germany, since 2003. Today, there are as
many as 10,000 to 15,000 micro-currencies operating worldwide, including about 60 in France, which legalised them in 2014.
To read the complete article, see:
The French region with a new currency
Wayne Homren, Editor
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