From Stalwart To Skeptic, Germany Rethinks EU Role : NPR
Chiemgauer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaThe financial calamity of the European Union's sovereign debt woes has shaken the pillars of the postwar ideal of a united Europe. The debt crisis and the global downturn have left many European countries looking inward these days and viewing Brussels as increasingly irrelevant.
Germany, long a postwar champion and financier of European integration, is flexing its muscles more independently. And more of its citizens are questioning the country's leading role in the European project.
On a recent day, Christian Gelleri buys a sandwich and a glass of Hefeweizen at a rustic, sun-filled outdoor beer garden along the Inn River in the Upper Bavarian town of Stefanskirchen.
But the 40-year-old isn't paying with euros. The bar also accepts chiemgauer, the thriving local currency named after a region in Bavaria.
Thoughts?Christian Gelleri, a high school teacher, started this project with his students who are in charge of designing and printing vouchers, administration, accounting, advertising and other services. Chiemgauer is member of a regional currencies' network called Regiogeld e. V. (regiomoney-association).
The Chiemgauer is intended to:
- Employment creation: students, unemployed and volunteers are hired to work, earning some allowances.
- Promotion of cultural, educational and environmental activities: the Chiemgauer system supports non-profits who work for such purposes
- Promotion of sustainability: organic food and renewable energy among others
- Strengthening the solidarity: enhancing the human relationship between local shoppers and businesses
- Stimulation of local economy: Chiemgauer retains purchasing power within the region better than the euro and favors local small businesses, stimulating transactions by the demurrage.