Swiss buy into new cross-border currency with France

By Fanny Hardy

A new local currency that straddles the frontier between France and Switzerland has been set up by local volunteers. The 'Léman' was created a year ago to help forge stronger trade links between local businesses on either side of the border and is growing in popularity. Fanny Hardy reports on the first local currency to be shared by the two nations.

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Though it has been around since September 2015, the idea still tickles Pierre Kakpo. “The Swiss, the people of Geneva, with a local currency? It must be a joke!” Standing in his modest cobblers shop in the Perrier shopping centre in the French town of Annemasse near the border with Switzerland, Kakpo bursts out laughing. But as the president of the Monnaie Léman France association that helps run that local currency he, of course, knows that it is no joke. And that this local currency, set up a year ago and which straddles the French-Swiss border near Geneva as a complement to the Swiss Franc and the euro, is in fact doing rather well.