Lund Sydsvenska Dagbladet July 20 1999 (page 1) 
by Freda Roijer
     There are plans to start a so-called LETSystem in Lund where one 
is able to exchange goods and services with one another. The price 
will be put in a local currency which will be free from interest and 
inflation. The project was developed in Canada in the 80s. 
     At the start, it will probably be mostly apples. Computer 
services, massages will also be possible exchange goods and services, 
says the initiator, Anders Ohlsson. 
     A meeting will be held tomorrow in order to establish a LETSystem 
which is supposed to lower the prices in Lund. See Page 2
     Critics of the present banking system want to establish a local 
payment system in Lund without interest or inflation. It's called 
LETSystem and already exists in many places in Sweden. If you have got 
apples which you want to get rid of, you can sell them to me for a 
price which we agree on, declares Anders Ohlsson who is the burning 
fire behind the project. 
     We write a type of check and the transaction will be recorded by 
an administrator. In your account, there is a plus and in mine is a 
minus. You can use the service for buying something offered by some of 
the other members in the system. To prevent buying lots of goods 
without selling anything, a limit is introduced on the account. The 
idea is that the goods will become cheaper without the hidden interest 
cost which today constitutes a great part of the price. 
     The short distance between seller and buyer is promoting a good 
environment due to the lessened transport. A problem is that profit-
making producers may prefer to sell their goods at a high price in 
France instead of a lower local price. In order to make everything 
work, a great number of sellers and buyers are needed with many goods 
and services to offer. Anders Ohlsson is going to entice companies 
into the system - those who might possibly be interested could be 
shops like Klotet which has an expressed policy of solidarity. Other 
companies might take the bait of the publicity which LETSystem could 
     In the long run, Anders Ohlsson even wants to engage the local 
community in the project so that parts of the income tax can be paid 
in local currency. "In this way, taxpayers will be guaranteed that the 
money stays within the local community and will not be lost in 
speculations on the stock market or that they will disappear in 
investments somewhere else. The local currency is going to function 
together with the Kronor - it is possible that a certain part of the 
price will be paid in Kronors and the other part in local currency. 
     How can the local currency be protected from inflation if the 
value of Kronors is decreasing? 
     "The local currency doesn't need to have anything to do with the 
Kronor because it is only supposed to be used for goods and services 
produced in Lund, is Anders Ohlsson's explanation. He admits that the 
supply can become quite thin. "In the first place, I suppose it will 
be mostly apples. Computer services, haircutting and massage will also 
be possible exchange goods. If we get shops within the system, it will 
become more interesting. In that case, they can pay salaries and rent 
in local currency and so the system will be expanded. 
     Market-places will appear where buyers and sellers can meet. 
Goods and services will be listed in a directory. In order to finance 
the whole thing, there are several possibilities. Eventually, member 
fees will be charged in ordinary money. Another possibility is a kind 
of taxation where those who have money left in their account at the 
end of the month pay a certain charge. This would stimulate activity 
in the market at the same time; at the end of every month one can 
suppose. There is also the possibility of lending local money in order 
to permit a person to pay the fee. Completely without interest of 
course. So far, some ten persons have expressed their interest in a 
Lund currency. 
     Tomorrow, the Canadian John Turmel will come to Lund to tell of 
his experiences in LETSystems in order to help start such an 
organization. Later on, they are going to test the interest in 
starting a LETS in Lund. "If we are 100 who want to participate, I 
will be extremely satisfied, says Anders Ohlsson. But we'll start even 
if we get less than that. 


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