Internet “time bank” and IMF activities in Suriname

TimeRepublik is a bartering website described as “the internet age time bank”. Instead of money, you pay with time credits for the work done. The credits can then be used to get the service from another person without financial payments. The idea of this “time bank” was born in Switzerland in 2012, and in recent years it has internationally developed. The site is free for community members, and users offering the service receive a credit called “TimeCoin” – 15 minutes no matter what work they do.

Like other people in the Global South, Surinamese live harder and harder due to the austerity imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and already in mid-February, residents of Paramaribo, the capital of the country, protested against the decision of the state authorities to abolish state subsidies for electricity, fuel and other necessities. These decisions were made under the influence of the IMF, which, according to writer Belén Fernández, specialises in solving international economic crises by increasing the misery of the poorest strata of society.

Nearly €622 million of loans from the Post-Pandemic Recovery Fund received by Greece so far have gone to 14 large companies, while the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector is struggling for bank financing. So far, neither the agricultural and livestock sectors nor other small businesses that saw a drastic revenue drop after the pandemic have received financial support.

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