Meet the Greeks Who've Already Ditched the Euro

Meet the Greeks Who've Already Ditched the Euro

Greeks can only talk about one thing: whether they’ll stay or leave the Euro (it looks like they'll stay). In the town of Volos though people aren’t as worried. That’s because they ditched the Euro five years ago.

The currency that's taken its place is virtual. It's called the TEM, and the exchange rate is one-to-one.

While the timing coincides with the start of Greece's financial trouble, users are keen to stress it wasn't the cause.

"The crisis helped, but let's not put it entirely on that," says Ioanna Kostopoulou, a seamstress who accepts TEM. "It hadn't really touched us [at that point].”

Its effects were felt further afield though, and people started migrating to the town because of it. There are more than 100,000 people in Volos, 1,000 of which are members.

While there are mechanics, teachers, and even doctors using TEM, the Euro isn't far away; raw materials often have to be bought in the currency. 

The Greek utopia it seems is still a long way off for the meantime. But with more areas around the country looking to use TEM, there’s a chance it could become reality soon.

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