Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Le Recession

In recession people are turning against the euro, globalisation and the import of cheap foreign products.
In Villeneuve they have created their own currency. It is called the Abeille. One Abeille equals one euro. But it can only be spent on local produce and services. It is 20 euros to be a member, but it is a non-profit initiative and any money raised is ploughed back into helping local businesses.

"We have 150 families who are using it," said Nicolas Queyreau, vice president of the Abeille group. "And an increasing number of traders. You can pay for your haircut, you can eat in restaurants, and of course you can do your weekly shop. It creates a connection, a relationship between the consumer and their local producers."

The Socialist candidate, Bernard Barrel, who will run in the forthcoming election, is all about supporting local employers. But on a visit to the town of Fumel and Metaltemple, a truck components factory, where shifts has been halved in recent months, he concedes it is not the best time to run for the governing party. "But we do believe in the programme Mr Hollande has set out. He has implemented 40 of the 60 new initiative he set out," he says.

"This is only the first year. The effects are yet to be felt - but they will be."

They have time in the Lot, it is a slower pace of life, but all the problems France is accumulating are flowing into the region. Suddenly recession threatens their cherished quality of life. Restoring it is the government's challenge, and not just for the people of the Lot-et-Garonne. 
French recession: Farms feeling the pinch (BBC)

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