18 June, 2021

The Common Mint

SAARC countries should look at a uniform currency on the lines of the Euro

illustration by Sandeep Adhwaryu
The Common Mint
Ever since the war on Iraq got over, the global media has been doing a postmortem of its real cause, presumably one between the US treasury and Saddam Hussein, and not between the two nations. The provocation seems to be the alleged conversion of US $2 billion, received from the UN under the food-for-work programme, into euros in November 2000—an action with far-reaching implications. While Saddam was guided by security considerations (the euro would insulate the money from being frozen), he had followers in some other opec members like Iran and Venezuela who made a switch to the euro from the dollar-for-oil payments.

So the euro's emergence as a rival reserve currency threatening the dollar's supremacy may have resulted in the war on Iraq. That the only open support for the US came from the non-euro UK, with the rest of Europe keeping their cool cannot also be overlooked. In the final analysis, the dollar touched 92 cents for a euro just for a day; last week it stood at $1.18 for a euro. Does this phenomenon hold a lesson for the international community in general and...

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