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Daily Bread, A Local Currency For Paris?

The French capital is weighing whether to issue its own unique currency. But can I buy a baguette with that?

Bringing home the baguette
Bringing home the baguette

PARIS — The Seine is not only the river that runs through Paris. It could soon become the name of a future local currency used in the French capital. The association "Une Monnaie pour Paris" (A Currency for Paris) has been launched to convince city officials that it needs a unique currency to complement the euro.

The aim is to have the new local currency circulating in the city of Paris proper by late 2017, accepted by participating businesses that promote local production and services. Municipal employees might also be able to receive a part of their salaries wih the local cash.

It is estimated that there are more than 5,000 local currencies around the whole world. Among the best known is the WIR, first issued in Switzerland in 1934, in the middle of the global depression, and still used today alongside the Swiss franc, in electronic form to avoid credit drying up for local businesses.

The Paris effort is driven more by a desire to encourage local production and distribution, Le Figaro reports, comparing the initiative to online crowdfunding. But more than 30 other towns and cities in France have already experimented with a local currency, sometimes with rather limited success. The city of Montreuil, just to the east of the capital, launched its La Pêche currency in 2014, but it has not been widely adopted. "There aren't enough store owners who participate, so it doesn't occur to people to pay with La Pêche," one Montreuil city official told Le Figaro.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

The Russian Orthodox Church Has A Kremlin Spy Network — And Now It's Spreading Abroad

The Russian Orthodox Church has long supported Russia’s ongoing war effort in Ukraine. Now, clergy members in other countries are suspected of collaborating with and recruiting for Russian security forces.

Photo of Russian soldiers during mass at an Orthodox church in Moscow.

Russian soldiers during mass at an Orthodox church in Moscow.

Wiktoria Bielaszyn

WARSAW — Several countries have accused members of the Russian Orthodox clergy of collaborating with Russian security services, pushing Kremlin policy inside the church and even recruiting spies from within.

On Sept. 21, Bulgaria deported Russian Archimandrite Vassian, guardian of the Orthodox parish in Sofia, along with two Belarusian priests. In a press release, the Bulgarian national security agency says that clergy were deported because they posed a threat to national security. "The measures were taken due to their actions against the security and interests of the Republic of Bulgaria," Bulgarian authorities wrote in a statement, according to Radio Svoboda.

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These reports were also confirmed by Russia's ambassador to Bulgaria, Eleonora Mitrofanova, who told Russian state news agency TASS that the priests must leave Bulgaria within 24 hours. “After being declared persona non grata, Wassian and the other two clerics were taken home under police supervision to pack up their belongings. Then they will be taken to the border with Serbia" she said.

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