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As Spain's Recession Darkens, Alternative Economies Rise
Submitted by miraluna on Wed, 08/29/2012 - 12:27pm
From Common Dreams
August 28, 2012
As Spain's economic recession has continued to deepen, conditions for people within the country are expected to get worse following austerity measures that increasingly cut into everyday economic survival, Reuters reports Tuesday. However, as many economists grapple over numbers, and search for signs of hope for a free market revival, many people within Spain have increasingly started to turn to alternative currency systems, or parallel euro-free economies -- giving up the ghost of a neoliberal recovery in exchange for a new way.
According to Reuters, following recent extreme austerity measures, a rush of consumers and firms withdrew their money from Spanish banks in July, with private sector deposits falling almost 5 percent, to 1.509 trillion euros ($1.896 trillion) at end-July from 1.583 trillion a month earlier, signally an extreme loss in faith in the austerity economy.
"Analysts believe it is inevitable that Spain will soon have to call for a European rescue package to help bring its debt costs down as austerity measures designed to slash the public deficit push the economy deeper into recession," Reuters reports.
"With much more fiscal austerity in the pipeline and unemployment at astronomic highs, the risks are clearly tilted towards a more protracted recession," said Martin van Vliet, an economist at ING.
However, as the Washington Post reports today, at a time when the future of the euro is in doubt and millions are unemployed, alternative forms of exchange and survival are springing up in the cracks of capitalism, allowing people to exchange, barter, and live outside of failing currencies.
One example given by the Post is the proliferation of "time banks" throughout the country. Time banks allow people to trade their services amongst one another in a currency of hours. One provides a service for a certain amount of time and can 'buy' another service for that same amount of time. Time banks allow people to exchange labor and services without the need for abstract currencies.
Read the rest of the article at Common Dreams.