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Paris considers launch of local currency

media The Brixton pound

Paris may have its own currency by the end of next year. The city council has launched a feasibility study to examine whether to launch the currency, which could be used locally but would not replace the euro.

The city council is taking the idea "very seriously", Antoinette Guhl, who is responsible for the social and solidarity economy on the city council, told Le Figaro newspaper.

Nearly 5,000 local currencies exist around the world, including the Brixton pound in south London which carries the portrait of local boy David Bowie, and there are about 40 in France, including in the Basque country, Lyon and Toulouse.

There is even one in the Paris region, in Montreuil, right next door to the capital.

But, with a population of 2.2 million, Paris would be the largest area to adopt a local currency and the only capital city.

Local trade and environment

Local currencies, which have been legal in France since 2014, are intended to encourage consumers and entrepreneurs to use local businesses and services, aiming to boost local employment and reduce environmental damage by transport.

Proposed by Green councillors at the end of last year, the Paris currency would probably be called the Seine and be worth one euro.

Its supporters would like to see local authority workers partly paid in it and for it to be an option for payment for local authority services.

If the study's results are positive and the city council accepts them, the Seine could start changing hands in autumn 2017.


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