What Putin launched yesterday is a serious threat to what it implies, but not easily achievable. He said that the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) should “melt” their currencies and release a new one that represents them. It would be a viable and dangerous alternative to the dollar. An Ecu (the parent of the Euro) whose value is equal to what the coins that compose it are worth, with different weights of course.
It took Europe thirty years to make a common currency. And some leading economists, such as Milton Friedman, have criticized it even after its birth. The states that adopt it are too different, with too different histories, economic policies, interest rates and savings. And we talked about Europe. Think a little about how it is possible to bring China and India, or Russia and South Africa together. But that’s the technical point of view.
The dangerous part of the Putin threat is, as mentioned, what it underlies. The five BRICS countries represent a fifth of global wealth and roughly the same share of international trade. They are therefore a richer club than that of the euro, despite the latter being made up of twenty-seven nations. They have, especially in agriculture and raw materials, an oligopolistic leadership position in the world. They don’t have a great common history, but three billion human beings live beneath their stars: just under half of the world’s population. While the old continent is depopulating.
It is difficult for them to agree. China is the undisputed dominus: its gross domestic product is forty times higher than that of South Africa. India has a share of wealth four times lower than that of Beijing, but will soon surpass it in population. It is hard to think that Moscow will voluntarily submit to Beijing’s overbearing economic strength.
In short, if the BRICS, rather than on the single currency, really agreed by coordinating their economies and trade in some way, they would represent a block of giants compared to the European dwarves. This is the message Putin implies when he talks about the single currency. And what’s more, he does so by taking the American ticket as his point of reference: the European one doesn’t even consider it.
It is repeated parrot that this is a good reason for Europe to be united.
Yes, of course. But to do what? If unanimity is used to kill our most advanced industry in competitive terms in the world, namely the automotive industry or to annihilate our culture and traditions, well then numbers and dimensions will relegate the old continent to a decline, which will not be slow and inexorable, but fast even if avoidable.