from The Daily Bell:
Barcelona Threatens to Print Parallel Currency, Madrid Seethes … Over the next six months, Barcelona’s left-wing city council plans to roll out a cash-less local currency that has the potential to become the largest of its kind in the world. The main goal of the project, according to a council spokesperson, is to boost economic opportunities for local businesses and traders. The idea is for local stores and residents to be able to exchange euros for the new currency at a one-to-one parity, and use it to purchase products and services at a discount or with other kinds of incentives. But it doesn’t end there: the new parallel currency may also be used to pay certain subsidies, taxes and local services such as public transport, reports El País. Municipal workers could also receive part of their salary in the new money. – Wolf Street
Dominant Social Theme: Remember US Continentals? Here’s an idea: Let’s fund our revolution with paper money …
Free-Market Analysis: So Barcelona is challenging Madrid and currency is going to be the proving ground. It’s a face off between the Catalan culture and the dominant Castilian culture in Madrid. It’s tough not to root for the underdog here, especially because the Castilian culture is so evidently an arrogant and authoritarian one.
The Catalan culture may not be much better, but at least the Catalans are not continually oppressing the Basques and the other four or five cultures that have been smashed together to create the dysfunctional entity that is today called “Spain.”
Spain generally is suffering from an identity crisis. At the depth of the Great Recession, some 50 percent of youth were unemployed. The country’s institutions have suffered mightily from the economic fallout and even the highest authority figures have come under fire.
For instance, when former King Juan Carlos was discovered to be shooting elephants on a luxury safari to Africa during the depth of the economic crisis, the prestige of the royal family was rocked. Carlos later resigned the throne in order to avoid an “institutional crisis.” Meanwhile, the king’s youngest daughter Cristina and her husband Iñaki Urdangarin are accused of embezzlement of US$8.3 million from a charitable sports foundation.
The institutional crisis is coming anyway. The Catalans are not the only tribe that wants to depart. The Basques are one of the oldest tribes in the world and archeology cannot even account for where they came from. But they appeared thousands of years ago and may be responsible for the great cave paintings in France and Spain. The Basques are resolute about their demands for independence and they are just as serious as the Catalans.
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