New York Times: Get rid of the euro – in place of kalavrio

An idea , on the island of Poros in Greece, the operation of Kalavrio-shop, was originally of Mr Spiros Borbadonakis. He offers a variety of painting and construction work to the other members. “I thought it would be a great idea to escape the commercialism, go back to the basics and a couple try to live together without any money,” he says.
POROS. A member Mrs Marianthi Papadiamandi got up.
She welcomes the woman who walks through the door of the old stone house.

The arrival
Mrs Helene Pavlou, is holding a bag full of crafts and a stuffed membership form.
“I could’ve made this offer to fabric stores and weaving lessons asking for money. But they do not have money. Indeed I need child care and domestic help, because I have five children, she says. Pavlou wants to join Kalavrio.
The KALAVRIO community was established in the beginning of June in Greece, on the island of Poros. Its members seek to get rid of the euro economy, mainly due to the circumstances. The last Saturday of June, a dozen members of the movement were gathered in Mrs Papadiamandi’s house and she served lunch.
The door is frequently opened, and always to the table will be placed one seat more.
People of Kalavrio hope that their own currency – kalavrio – will spread to the entire island. Kalavrio idea is to swop goods, food and services deferred on an alternative currency (accounting unit) , which works alongside the euro.
“It’s easy, because everyone has no longer euros to buy food or to cover other needs. There are no jobs and no money. “This is a way to help both ourselves and others,” says one of the founding members of Kalavrio Mrs Angela Makri Dekoulou.
First, each member earns kalavrios by offering his services, or other products. After that his units can be used for the online store for other services or products.
There is cleaning, renovation, photography, cooking services and much more.
Kalavrio members believe that even in a small island, the supply and demand is sufficient. The goal is to get all of Poros 3.500 inhabitants.
“We are just at the beginning, but I believe that this can be spread,” Angela Makri
Dekoulou says.
KALAVRIO Greece is not an isolated case. Neither it is a mere gooder illusion. Economic alternative ideas now is needed.
Similar communities already operates extensively throughout Greece. Kalavrio
calculates that in recent years they have been born three hundred similar actions.
Crete Ierapetra , with 15 000 inhabitants , the exchange community has over one thousand members.
Another town Volos has another accounting unit the TEM. They are trying companies to adopt the currency.
The main reason is obvious: Nearly a quarter of the labor force is unemployed in Greece, wages have been cut and taxes raised.
Angela Makri Dekoulou says that her pension last year was 1.400 per month, but now 900 euros. The mortgage takes the sum of € 700, and the rest goes to taxes.
By adopting kalavrio we improve our daily life.
And what members of kalavrio think of the euro, whether it would be a better life for all without it?
No, not really. One speaks of the euro countries “ they have to have a tighter economic union”, the second “yet in a much broader base. There is not a coherent idea of the world”.
It is clear, that the founder and the members do not believe that the Greek
economy would be improved by the Greek government or by parliament.
“We do not put our hopes on politicians. Kalavrio is about the fact that we have to care about ourselves and have hope in our lives” Mariathi Papadiamandi said.

New York Times, 04/07/2012
Get rid of the euro – in place of kalavrio
Greeks sprout a new Financial option
due a lack of money.

Elina Kervinen