EU’s Five Largest Economies Teamed Up Against Stablecoin Libra
After a series of behind-the-scenes meetings, Italy, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands supported the French initiative and joined forces in the fight against Libra, The Politico newspaper reports.
According to the publication, a closed meeting was held in Brussels on Monday, at which the finance ministers of the countries mentioned above announced their position to the other members of the European Union. The Paris-led coalition calls on EU countries to consider a complete ban on Libra. Officials also suggested pressure on Facebook and other members of the Libra Association to force them to leave the project, as did Visa and Mastercard.
The representatives of the European Commission, who spoke with Politico journalists, understand that a direct ban can be problematic - this will require good legal reasons, which, in fact, are not. Instead, diplomats are preparing a joint statement in which they will argue that Facebook can launch Libra only if the stablecoin is controlled by the EU.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Mer refused to give comments to reporters, citing the fact that his position has not changed one iota. Recall that France was the first European country to seriously talk about the Libra ban.
At the opening ceremony of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conference in September, Le Mayor said France “will not allow Libra to develop on European soil.”
The minister believes that Libra threatens the monetary sovereignty of France and other states.
Later, at an informal meeting of EU finance ministers proposed creating a state digital currency in the European Union and creating a unified legal system for regulating cryptocurrencies.
Another coalition member, Germany, last month approved a full-blown blockchain regulation strategy, which provides for a ban on the circulation of alternative money in the country, including stablecoins.
The German government believes that private suppliers of digital currencies offset the efforts of the Central Bank to counter the financial crisis and inflation. Finance Minister Olaf Scholz then said that issuing currency is a key element of state sovereignty, so private companies will not be entrusted with this role.
The representative of the Ministry of Finance of Spain told reporters that before allowing the launch of any such project, it is necessary to analyze and eliminate all possible risks, as well as create an appropriate regulatory and supervisory structure.
Last week, Mark Zuckerberg addressed the Finance Committee of the House of Representatives - the lower house of the US Congress. For six hours, the head of Facebook answered questions related to the Libra stablecoin.
As expected, he was asked the same questions as the head of the blockchain division of Facebook, David Marcus, who tried to dispel the doubts of regulators in the summer. All questions were related to the reputation of Facebook and the scandals surrounding the social network, competition with the US dollar, as well as the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.