Often times, people’s economic ingenuity—outside and opposed to run-of-the-mill economic and political thought—is truly impressive.
Such is the case in a far corner of southern Italy, where “transactions in fake currency are not only accepted by local shopkeepers, they are positively encouraged.”
The small Calabrian town of Gioiosa Ionica, population 7,000, is currently home to a group of asylum seekers, who are given the imitation bank notes, or “tickets” as they are known, as part of a voucher system.
The refugees can spend the cash on whatever they like, but only in the town, so that local businesses benefit.
Rather than featuring European architectural gems, they bear the likenesses of a collection of communists and leftist leaders – Che Guevara on the fake €10 note, Hugo Chavez on the €20 and Karl Marx on the €50.
The reverse sides feature the signature of Giovanni Maiolo, the co-ordinator of the town’s refugee services.