The Eusko: The Basque local currency's fifth anniversary

  • This year is the Eusko's fifth birthday. This solidarity and ecology-focused local currency is used in Lapurdi, Lower Navarre and Zuberoa (the northern Basque Country, which is under French administration). It is strongly supported by both citizens and institutions, and the aim is to continue enlarging the network which uses it. To celebrate the fifth anniversary, a "great family-style party" has been organised for 4th March.

Maddi Txintxurreta @mtxintxurreta
2018ko otsailaren 23a
(Photo: Euskal Moneta)

Dante Edme-Sanjurjo, the chairperson of the association which manages the currency, says that there are certainly things to celebrate. Over the last five years the currency has been used more and more, and a bright future lies ahead. He says that the key to this success has been the connections which have been built around this shared project: "It's connections between people in different sectors which give the project its strength." Amongst other things, the 3,000 people who use the Eusko in their daily lives. "They are people who are working for a more Basque-speaking, more ecological and more solidarity-focused Basque Country", in Edme-Sanjurjo's words.

The challenge is for Eusko users to have a broader profile in the future; for it to enter the daily lives of people with no direct link with the currency. The current users are people with strong social commitment: "Some people use it to make the local economy more dynamic, and defend local employment. Others use it because they believe that the Basque Country should have its own currency. Some others want to help small shops and local agriculture. We have to get to people not involved in those areas."

It is promoted by citizens, but public administrations also support it. For instance, Jean-Rene Etchegaray, the mayor of Baiona, has set up projects to promote the currency, and he is very clear about what is behind the measures against local currencies which have been taken by the French government: “I think it's a type of Jacobin anger, because our local currency's doing very well in the Basque Country. I see it as their desire to centralise power."

People who live outside the northern Basque Country can support the currency too; you can become a member by clicking on www.euskalmoneta.org. However, Edme-Sanjurjo underlines that the best way to support this local currency is by going to Baiona on 4th March.

 

This article was translated by 11itzulpen; you can see the original in Basque here.

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