On January 31, 2013, the eusko was launched in Iparralde. It is a local alternative currency in paper format with an equivalency of one eusko to one euro, and available in denominations of one, two, five, ten, and twenty euskos.


“What, you’re still not in the eusko?” “The Eusko in everyone’s hands.” Photo by Joxemai, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The aim of the eusko is to encourage people to spend money locally, in participating stores and businesses (many of which also encourage the presence and use of the Basque language in their establishments), so as to stimulate local economic development and help the environment by cutting down on the use of long supply chains.

Since its launch, the eusko has become increasingly popular. Indeed, just recently Hendaia (Hendaye in French), with a population of 17,000 inhabitants, voted to support the project by officially encouraging use of the eusko in the town. In the words of mayor Kotte Ecenaro, “elected officials of all persuasions have seen in this currency a good deed in favor of the local economy and the Basque language.”

See a report on this initiative at Mediabask (in French) here.

See also the Wikipedia entry on the eusko here.

The association behind this initiative is Euskal Moneta (Basque money). See its website here for news and updates on how the eusko is taking root in Iparralde.

Check out Basque Economy from Industrialization to Globalization, by Mikel Gómez Uranga, free to download here.