Saturday, 18 August 2012

'Gratiferia', a happy idea in times of financial stress

No money changes hands
TARIFA Last weekend, a group of 20 volunteers set out a market that is a reminder that 'one man's rubbish is another man's gold'. The Alameda square was the setting for an idea that was probably first muted by prehistoric man, but became popular in the early part of this century in Buenos Aires, Argentina, when the corralito was in force (banks closed to prevent a run on them, and no cash was available for many weeks). It is also common practice in many parts of the world, but not in Spain. Governments don't like it because no taxes are involved. Called Gratiferia (gratis, free, merged with feria -- feria can also mean a market), the idea was simple: take what you like, for free.>>>PLEASE BE AWARE THAT ITEMS SUCH AS THIS MAY BE SUBJECT TO SUBSCRIPTION IN THE FUTURE. But you can help us stay free by making a donation through our PayPal facility on the sidebar.

'Punters' were surprised that there was no charge for anything, and the word soon got around that you could, if you wanted, leave something of your own behind, but you wouldn't be obliged to and nor would you get paid. Thus, clothing and shoes were the main item of exchange, but all kinds of things changed ownership: lamps, toys, CDs and DVDs as well as videos. In fact, two stands were not enough to cope with the rush from 6.30pm to midnight - the 'market' spread out. There was even a small stage with sound equipment to encourage performances - and also a free performance byu the circus school of Tarifa. The organizers' spokesperson, Rafael Sánchez, said that it had been a great success that will probably be repeated during the autumn/winter season.

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