The Ministry of Economy will help the unemployed who live on the barter.

An agreement will promote  
the activity throughout the country

The Government officialized the barter 
as an arm against the unemployment

The Ministry of Economy promised this morning to help and establish the barter of goods and services, an economic model in the whole rise throughout the counrty. The iniciative was concretized throught the sign of an agreement of institutional collaboration between the Secretary of Small and Middle-sized Enterprizes and the Red Global de Trueque.

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Concretely, the State will supply to the Red Global de Trueque infrastructure to reach the more diffusion of the work they realize, basic matters to produce goods and the elaboration of the website which will connect all the barter clubs in Argentina.

"We believe this network has had a great development but very low profile. Now we want to give it a better organization on the national level and use it as a good tool against the development", said to La Razón  Enrique Martínez, secretary of the Small and Middle-sized Enterprizes.

Martínez considered that "the barter has been built as a element that jobless people recognize as a transit toward the formal economy, or a substitute. From the barter people feel encouraged again. or we can't be absent from such a rich project". And even he said this informal system is "an expression of the crisis", he added that "it's a solution that runs out of the textbooks".

The 500 barter clubs in Argentina gather a half million of people - hundred thousand families-, mostly unemplyed who found in this alternative a possibility to subsist. "The barter is turned into a kind of interface between the social work and the formal market", said to this evening-paper Carlos De Sanzo, founder of the first barter club of this country, in 1995.

In the barter clubs everything is found. There bakers, dentists, bricklayers, and people of other walk and professions who can't find a place in the labor market. Currently the trades realized by way of this barter amount to between 600 and 800 millon pesos(1 Argentine peso is currently equal to US$1: translator's note) annualy in "credits", name of the social money used inside the system. As a total, some five millon credits have been issued.

The goal of the Government is, on one hand, to establish and expand the barter of goods and services, as a substitute of the formal economic system. On the other hand, to make it easy for such people to go back to the labor market. In other words, to become from "prosumers" -name of these clubs' members- to consumers.

According to De Sanzo, the signing of this agreement "is the first step toward a reglamentation of the barter. Because the State is showing that it's interested in no leaving us lonely. In this system many clubs are lacking the first small money to start, and it's in this respect that the official help will be fundamental ".

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Last updated(to English): Nov 27, 2000.