"It is astonishing what foolish things one can temporarily believe if one thinks too long alone, particularly in economics". John Maynard Keynes (1936, The General Theory).

Saturday, 10 December 2011


En la bibliografía, la discusión sobre las monedas paralelas es casi siempre dedicada a presentar nuestro estilo de vida como algo natural, algo que puede continuar sólo por cambiar el sistema monetario. Eso es una idea de neutralidad del dinero en reverso: la teoría clásica dice que el dinero y el sistema monetario son neutrales en relación a la economía. Ahora, la discusión se hace sobre la pregunta si el sistema monetario es neutral a la estructura del sistema económico. Es decir, la teoría parece (escribo “parece”, porque no es algo claro y por supuesto no se han hecho tales investigaciones) conceptualizando la moneda como neutral en relación con la economía y especialmente a la economía política de nuestra sociedad.

Por ejemplo, si bien el trabajo de mujeres no es muy valorado (o, en muchas veces no es valorado de ninguna manera) en la economía convencional, en la literatura de monedas paralelas no vemos un gran esfuerzo por valorizar el trabajo de mujeres mucho más que lo que ellas reciben cuando su trabajo se paga con dinero convencional, y sin embargo se acepta una valorización injusta que deja al trabajo femenino al margen de la economía. Es decir,

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

"And, which is the role of crisis, at the end of the day, in all this?|

This is a question I deal with almost every day - the correct answer is "we do not know". An even better answer is "we have not yet discovered the answer (and the explanation of it).

I am currently preparing the related dissertation chapter, i.e. all this inquiry on whether and how the "crisis" has affected the development and dispersion of economic aactivity without official currency in Greece. The main outline of the chapter can be found on the following presentation (in Greek)

(copy the link or open the link at the left column of the blog).

Once the paper is ready, it will also be published!

How environmental awareness can be practical and funny while puzzling economists

One of the articles recently published in the Journal of Innovation Economics is the updated and thoroughly corrected and (i hope) improved version of the paper I had prepared a year ago for the Conference "Environment, Innovation and Sustainable Development".
You may read the entire paper in English on the following link
(copy the link or open the link at the left column of the blog).

Below is the abstract of the paper:

How environmental awareness can be practical and funny while puzzling economists: exchange networks, parallel currencies & free bazaars in Greece
This paper is part of a large ongoing field research project dealing with economic activity in Greece performed without the use of any official currency. The schemes studied range from parallel currencies to free bazaars and from specialized exchange networks to businesses accepting used public transport tickets as partial payment by customers. Exchange and bazaars often take place via fairs and parties, some of which have already become famous and attract hundreds of people, although most of the schemes are quite recent and still develop. The scope of this paper is, therefore: a) To present the theoretical, connected to environment, issues that the project aims to deal with, and b) To present the findings of the first, qualitative stage of the field research that might enlighten us on how the environment as an idea and motive leads people to invent new ways of transacting.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Ok, one more post on "True Scenarios" show...

Copy the following link or click on it, at the left column of the blog.


"True Scenarios" ("Αληθινά Σενάρια") about barter and about Peliti network...

...they dedicated 3 broadcasts, already in spring 2010.

You can watch part of the broadcast here
(you copy the link on your browser or you open it from the left column of the blog)

And, to avoid bothering you with continuous similar posts, you may seek on ther internet to find the rest parts of the 3 broadcasts, with the name of the TV show "Αληθινά Σενάρια".

Monday, 17 October 2011

Lawsuit (& complaint to the Eur. Commission) against the Ministry of Education for the programme "Herakleitos II"

On Thursday, October 6th 2011, I filed a lawsuit in front of the Athens Administrative Court against the Ministry of Education regarding part of the funding approved for my research project "Exchange networks and parallel currencies: Theoretical approaches and the case of Greece", asking for the amount they refuse to pay for the time period since 1-6-2009 until August 2010, i.e. almost half of the scholarship from the funding programme titled “Heracleitos II - Enhancing human research personnel through performance of PhD research”.

The story is as follows: in March 2009 I submitted a proposal...

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Volos TEM currency, Ovolos currency and Peliti network on New York Times!

You may read the article here

or click on the link at the left column of the blog.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

...And an interview of Prof. Takis Nikolopoulos

... on Solidarity Economy (in Greek)


You may also click on the same link on the left column of the blog!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

As i am waiting for the questionnaires' results...

...in the meantime, one may read Faidra Papavasiliou's PhD dissertation on the currency of Ithaca Hours. Faidra did heavy fieldwork in Ithaca and the results of her research are not just interesting, they are challenging!

You may download the entire dissertation at
or by clicking at the link on the left column of the blog.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Prepublication... to make clear what we are talking about

There follows the abstract and small parts of the working paper which will be presented at the 88th Conference «Hellenic Language and Terminology» which will be held in Athens, 10-12 November 2011 (See http://www.eleto.gr/gr/Conference08.htm). The final volume of the conference communications will be published after the conference - the working paper is in English now, but it will be published in Greek too, after the conference. In this prepublication there are missing the footnotes!

Economic activity in Greece without official currency:
The terms and their economies

Irene Sotiropoulou

This paper belongs to an ongoing PhD research project, titled “Exchange Networks and Parallel Currencies: Theoretical approaches and the case of Greece”, which is already in its third-year phase. The project comprises both theoretical study and field research and it focuses on economic activity in Greece which is performed without the use of any official currency. The research faces severe terminology problems, which may be categorised, for analytical purposes only, in:
a) the terms used to describe the activity itself in one language.
b) the terms used in Greek to describe this activity in comparison to the terms used in other languages for same or quite similar activities.
c) the academic terminology on international level concerning all this economic activity and the major problem that this terminology refers to currencies only but not to the rest of the activity.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The * hypothesis

Is it possible to have a research hypothesis without a name? Well, it might not be possible, but it might be necessary...

The latest paper is available online under the title


at this link


(copy the link to your browser or click on the link at the left column of the blog)

Historical study has not been within the scope of the research project titled “Exchange networks and parallel currencies: Theoretical approaches and the case of Greece”. Of course, research participants often mention that their economic activity is not a new invention. However, it did not arrive to be imminent to consider of locating this activity within a historical framework till mapping of the schemes took place. The geographical dispersion of the schemes was such, that neither new communication technologies, nor the current economic crisis in Greece could explain the phenomenon in a satisfactory way.

Moreover, several research findings repeatedly appear without enabling any theoretical explanation that could link them together. At the same time, modern literature from all over the world is being oriented towards the study of parallel currencies, while exchange networks and free bazaars are almost inexistent for both academic and non-academic writers. Of course, it would not be wise to think that exchange networks and free bazaars are just a Greek originality. What is happening then?

The present paper is an attempt to formulate a hypothesis using research findings which for reasons we cannot explain yet, “demand” their place in time, actually in time and space altogether. We try to see how scheme members with both their discourse and action challenge our perceptions about:

a) transactions without official currency being an old-times trait, which has long been or should be abandoned as “non-economic” and inefficient.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

The report by Amélie Poinssot of the AFP

on non-monetary initiatives in Greece has been published twice:

a) Through a video on youtube


b) By her report at Radio France Internationale (RFI)


(the report about Greece starts at 8:28, you click on the "Ecouter" button)

(You copy the links on your browser or you click on the links at the left column of this blog)

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

2nd part of Roumeliotis article on Eleftherotypia

dedicated to parallel currencies all over the world!

http://www.enet.gr/?i=news.el.ellada&id=263171 (copy the link on your browser, or just click on the link at the left column of the blog)

Monday, 28 March 2011

New article on today's Eleftherotypia Newspaper

by Andreas Roumeliotis!

The article covers social and solidarity economy in general in Greece (much wider than our research), so it is very up-to-date and informative!

http://www.enet.gr/?i=news.el.ellada&id=262932 (copy the link on your browser or click on the link on the left column of the blog)

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Regional Review: Alternative Exchange Systems in Contemporary Greece


This paper is a brief report of several schemes that exist today, September 2010, in Greece and permit their members to perform transactions without any official currency. The report covers parallel currency schemes, exchange networks and several related initiatives that could be characterised as alternative exchange or non-mainstream modes of economic activity.

Copy and paste the link on your browser
http://www.ijccr.net/IJCCR/2011_(15)_files/06%20Sotiropoulou.pdf or click on the link at the left column

Thursday, 20 January 2011



This is a working paper which belongs to a greater ongoing field research project concerning economic activity in Greece which is performed without the use of any official currency. The scope of the paper is to present the geographical dispersion of the schemes studied within Greece and to discuss the issues raised by the connection of the schemes to the locality of their users.
Several patterns already emerge, concerning which schemes work or develop in which areas and which areas seem void of any working initiatives. Big urban centres seem to attract most of the schemes or at least, cities provide the base for a scheme to develop. The nature and structure of each scheme seems to affect its geographical expansion or its localisation.
Therefore, several questions are raised: What makes the scheme members’ decide about the localisation or the expansion of a scheme? How do geographical conditions affect those decisions and how does economic activity within the schemes affect their function in space? How the scope and structure of a scheme might influence its geographical picture?

Keywords: exchange networks, parallel currencies, free bazaars, geography, localisation.

You may access the entire paper on the following link


(copy the link on your browser, or click on the link on the left column of the blog)

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Malcolm Brabant of BBC reports on bartering in Greece


(copy the link on your browser, or click on the same link at the left column of the blog)