Chiemgauer is the name of a regional local currency started in 2003 in Prien am Chiemsee, Bavaria, Germany. It is named after the Chiemgau, a region around the Chiemsee. The Chiemgauer program is intended to promote local commerce and non-profits.[1] The Chiemgauer operates with a fixed exchange rate: 1 Chiemgauer = €1.[1]

Creation and objectives

Christian Gelleri, a high school teacher, started this project with his students, who are in charge of designing and printing vouchers and take care of administration, accounting, advertising and other tasks. Chiemgauer is a member of a regional currencies' network called Regiogeld e.V. (regiomoney-association).

The Chiemgauer is intended for[2]:

  1. Employment creation: unemployed, students and volunteers are hired to work, earning some allowances
  2. Promotion of cultural, educational and environmental activities: the Chiemgauer system supports non-profits who work for such purposes
  3. Promotion of sustainability: organic food and renewable energy among others
  4. Strengthening the solidarity: enhancing the human relationship between local shoppers and businesses
  5. Stimulation of local economy: The Chiemgauer retains purchasing power within the region better than the euro and favours local small businesses, stimulating transactions through demurrage.
  6. Express-Money: Example for a complementary currency on a national level[3] [4]

Currency issue, exchange and acceptance

Bills of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 Chiemgauer are issued. To maintain an individual bill's validity, a "scrip" corresponding to 2% of the banknote value must be paid every three months. This system, called demurrage, is a form of currency circulation tax invented by Silvio Gesell[5].)

There is also an electronic form of the Chiemgauer: the eChiemgauer. The rules are the same as for the paper money. The demurrage is 8% per year.

Electronic Chiemgauer

Since 2006, an electronic form of the Chiemgauer — the 'eChiemgauer' — is also in use. Bank accounts are used for operations; this has been made possible through cooperation with cooperative and local banks. Only businesses and non-profits need additional electronic accounts, while consumers have the possibility to use electronic cards called 'Regiocard'. Two third of Chiemgauer turnover is electronic.

Interest free saving and loans

Chiemgauer can be saved without interest at a social cooperative called REGIOS (since 2007). Likewise, a microcredit programme for businesses and non-profits exists since 2010. Loans are available in amounts ranging from €1,000 to €20,000. Interest is calculated at a rate of 9%, but when a loan issued in Chiemgauer is paid back on time and without fault the entire interest costs are paid back to the debtor.

How the Chiemgauer works

Chiemgauer, considered to be equivalent to the euro, circulates as follows within the districts of Rosenheim and Traunstein:[2]


As of end-of-year 2014:[6]

See also


  1. 1 2 Westervelt, Eric; From Stalwart To Skeptic, Germany Rethinks EU Role; NPR; July 2010
  2. 1 2 Gelleri, Christian; Chiemgauer Regiomoney; International Journal of Community Currencies, 2009.
  3. Gelleri, Christian & Mayer, Thomas;Express Money; January 2012
  4. Gelleri, Christian; Neuro : supplement to Euro; November 2012
  5. Rösl, Gerhard; Regional currencies in Germany - Local competition for the euro?; 2006
  6. Chiemgauer-Statistik 2003 bis 2014

External links

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