Montropoly Money: Montreuil to Get its Own Currency

By Patrick Reevell and Ben Schenkel
Montreuil has its own language, its own public writer, and soon it may get its own currency. A group of Montreuillois have taken it upon themselves to start printing money. They’re part of a growing movement across France to develop small-scale alternatives to the struggling Euro, in an experiment to boost local spending.

A competition for the new money’s name is still underway. But La Pêche, a reference to Montreuil’s proud history of peach farming is the clear front-runner, with almost twice as many votes as the other suggestions.

“A peach is material, it can be exchanged, and then it’s also round and filled with water like the earth and like the stomach of a pregnant woman,” write Isabella Smith on the competition’s website. Another suggestion, politely rejected, was that the money be named “The Nipple.” Someone wrote online that it calls to mind “one of the old varieties of peach which grew in Montreuil, ‘The Nipple of Venus’ (on account of its pointed fruit).”

Bastien Yverneau is the man behind the money. His vision for a local currency is one of a number of citizen initiatives pursued by a group calling itself “Montreuil en Transition.” For the past ten years, Yverneau has lived abroad, heading a major French NGO in Iraq and managing a large-scale energy project in Turkey. Last year, the 30-year-old engineer turned entrepreneur decided to return to Montreuil. It surprised Yverneau that nobody else had devised a local currency.

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