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The Currency of Proof

Euro Competence and the Refiguring of Value in Greece

Thomas M. Malaby

Keywords: competence; euro; Europe; Greece; money; practice; truth; value

The rollout of the euro as a hard currency involved unprecedented logistical organization oriented toward security; yet just as central to its success was the pedagogical project of enlisting those within the euro-zone to be competent with the new currency. This paper explores two forms of euro competence in Greece: the accurate recognition and use of the currency, and the learned refiguring of the values of everyday products. These competencies were, however, only partially anticipated and targeted by the institutions involved in the rollout; in key respects these competencies were generated by the rollout event itself. These competencies can furthermore be seen as epistemic practices; they came to serve as the grounds for truths about the monetary system itself, about Greeks as Europeans, and about the morality of economic transactions.

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