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The E-Sylum: Volume 25, Number 25, June 19, 2022, Article 30

A SINGLE LATIN AMERICAN CURRENCY?

Howard Berlin passed along this article about ideas for Latin American currency union. -Editor

  Latin American banknotes
Could all these Latin American banknotes make way for a single currency in the region?

For Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a candidate in the forthcoming Brazilian presidential election, it's a question of independence for the entire region. "If God wills, we will create a common currency for Latin America, because we shouldn't be dependent on the dollar," he said a few weeks ago.

It remains to be seen whether this was just an attempt to create an issue in the early stages of the election campaign or whether the former Brazilian president (2003-2011), who is currently leading the polls, is serious about this idea. Either way, it has sparked a debate. The Argentine business portal El Destape subsequently asked: "A single currency for all of Latin America — is that possible?"

A currency called "south"
The idea is not new. An original proponent is the Brazilian Fernando Haddad, former mayor of Sao Paulo and ex-presidential candidate of the left-wing Workers' Party (PT), who lost the 2018 ballot to current incumbent Jair Bolsonaro. He recently brought up the idea again in a guest article for the newspaper Folha. He even suggested a name — sur, meaning south. The fact that Lula, as a political heavyweight in Latin America, took up the topic shows that it has what it takes to move people both emotionally and politically.

No easy way forward
The idea of ??a single currency is easy to formulate, but the path to creating it is complicated. Jacques D'Adesky from the Fluminense Federal University in Rio de Janeiro referred to the existing differences and historical rivalries, for example between neighboring Argentina and Brazil. "The formation of a single currency zone would initially require many negotiations between the future partners," he told DW, saying such a process would take years.

Economist Leandro Dias from AkinTec bank in Sao Paulo wants to wait and see whether the idea survives the current election campaign. In principle, the Mercosur economic area has already contributed to the region working more closely together. However, "most countries would like to retain their sovereignty and economic independence," Dias told DW.

To read the complete article, see:
The dream of a single Latin American currency (https://www.dw.com/en/the-dream-of-a-single-latin-american-currency/a-62043189)



Wayne Homren, Editor

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