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Accepted Paper:

Money as Unifying? Spheres of Exchange in the Single Market  
Helen Panagiotopoulos (City University of New York, Graduate Center)Christos Papaioannou

Paper short abstract:

This paper explains how the circulation of multiple currencies in the context of austerity allows people to gain adequate access to basic resources such as food, housing, healthcare, employment, and other essential services, focusing on the movement between formal and informal spheres.

Paper long abstract:

Since the 2008 debt crisis Greeks have relied on the circulation of informal currencies—trading goods and services without euros. These solidarity economies seek to reclaim community resources for local people in protest of the staggering inequalities precipitated by Greece's government debt, privatization of public assets, and structural reforms. People use local exchange trading schemes just to survive in a context where coinage is scarce. This paper explains how the circulation of multiple currencies enables people to gain adequate access to basic resources such as food, housing, healthcare, employment, and other essential services. Drawing on the currency experiment TEM in Volos, Greece, we focus on the experience of precarity and the informal economy, and the ways in which local peoples and migrants alike navigate formal and informal spheres to make ends meet.

Panel P002
Works and lives: new perspectives on economy and livelihoods in Mediterranean Anthropology [Mediterraneanist Network (MedNet)]