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Message Subject Get rid of the money system, then get rid of goverrments
Poster Handle Thomas Greco
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Following Crete, Sergio Lub and I flew to Thesoloniki where we were met by Andreas Andreopoulos who had helped to organize our mainland tour. The following day, Andreas transported us to Volos where we met up again with Giannis who had arranged for us to conduct a workshop for a dozen or so of the core people in the TEM exchange. He also arranged for me to do a brief interview with a local TV channel, and for us to meet with the Mayor, who has been very supportive of this grassroots effort to cope with the financial austerity being imposed on Greece by the IMF and the EU.

My urgent message to the TEM organizers, as well as to the other groups that I addressed throughout my tour, was this.

In order for a mutual credit clearing exchange to be scalable and successful over the long-run:

(1) it must be anchored in the local business community, especially the small- and medium-sized enterprises that form the backbone of every local economy, and

(2) the allocation of credit lines cannot be arbitrary, but must be based primarily on the level of sales by each account into the exchange.

The fundamental objective of mutual credit clearing is to create liquidity within the local economy, i.e., to provide a means of payment by which associated producers can buy and sell with one another without having to rely on the availability of scarce official money. That liquidity must logically be founded upon local productivity. It is therefore the most productive enterprises that should be allowed to carry negative balances in the system. Because they have demonstrated their earning power, they are the ones that can be trusted to spend before they earn. Except for small credit lines allocated to new members who bring goods or services ready for sale to the market, all others should be required to earn credits before they can spend.

After Sergio’s departure to return to the U.S., I stayed on in Volos for two more days during which Giannis took me to meet with the Archbishop and to do an interview on the Diocesan radio channel. He also took me to visit the twice weekly TEM market to observe the variety of things being offered, and to talk with some of the participants.

Athens. On October 18 I took a motor coach to Athens where I met up with some like minded colleagues and participated in a festival on the Solidarity Economy during which organizers of several exchanges came together to discuss how their local exchanges might be networked together. My thanks to Anthi Theiopoulou for providing hospitality during my Athens stay.
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