Three years ago, when she had not yet become Prime Minister, the then MP and president of Fratelli d’Italia Giorgia Meloni made a tough speech on TV addressing the CFA franc.
The CFA Franc is the name of two currencies common to several African countries, and CFA stands for “African Financial Community.”
The CFA Franc UEMOA is in use in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.
The CEMAC CFA Franc is in use in Cameroon, Chad, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, and Republic of Congo.
Since April this year, Bitcoin has also been legal tender in Central African Republic.
Most of these were part of the French colonial empire, so much so that the Franc was France’s national currency before it adopted the Euro.
The CFA Franc was created along with the CFP Franc (Change franc Pacifique) in 1945 when the Bretton Woods agreements were ratified.
Technically, bills of this currency are still produced in France, but the issuance of the currency is actually decided and managed by the BCEAO (Central Bank of West African States) based in Dakar, Senegal, and the BEAC (Bank of Central African States) based in Yaoundé, Cameroun.
Saylor echoes Giorgia Meloni’s criticism
In the video three years ago, Giorgia Meloni called the CFA Franc a “colonial currency that France prints for 14 African nations.”
She also said that with the CFA Franc, France is exploiting the resources of those nations, applying seigniorage.
He then showed a photograph of a child working in a mine in Burkina Faso, adding:
“For Burkina Faso, which has gold, France prints colonial currency. In return it demands that 50% of everything Burkina Faso exports end up in the coffers of the French Treasury.”
The fact that this was mainly political propaganda was evident from the words with which Meloni commented on what he had just said:
“The gold that this child burrows to pull out mostly ends up in the coffers of the French state. Then the solution is not to take Africans and move them to Europe.”
Therefore, this was a propaganda intervention in favor of anti-immigration policies, and not a technical dissertation on the real financial nature of the CFA Franc.
Michael Saylor uses Meloni’s statements to promote Bitcoin
The founder and former CEO of MicroStrategy, Michael Saylor, probably did not know that that video was about a purely political propaganda speech, and he may not even have known that it aired three years ago when Meloni was not Prime Minister.
That is why he shared it again, commenting:
“Bitcoin is hope for those oppressed by monetary colonialism.”
— Michael Saylor⚡️ (@saylor) November 19, 2022
Saylor also ignores the fact that Giorgia Meloni is by no means a supporter of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, and indeed has in the past supported the idea of Italy going back to printing currency on its own.
In other words, citing that video as a form of Bitcoin promotion is not accurate, and may even be misleading.
Meloni and cryptocurrencies
In 2019, Giorgia Meloni also publicly spoke out about cryptocurrencies on Facebook.
She wrote about Facebook’s Libra project and other cryptocurrencies that:
“everyone can create currency, only the Italian state is prohibited from issuing minibots to pay off public administration debts.”
She has never shown that she understands the difference between a decentralized protocol, such as Bitcoin, and the usual mere creation of money by public institutions, such as Central Banks, often controlled by the same politicians.
Moreover, it is worth mentioning that since she became Prime Minister of the Italian government, her anti-EU and anti-Euro stances have waned a lot. Now that the propaganda is over, it seems unlikely that she will continue to advocate theses such as those set forth in the video from three years ago.
For example, the idea of “minibots” has completely disappeared, vanished into thin air, precisely because it is the result only of propaganda needs, and not of a concrete plan to help the finances of the Italian state.
Moreover, the idea that the Italian state could independently print a form of fiat money such as minibots has absolutely nothing to do with Bitcoin. On the contrary, Bitcoin was created precisely as an alternative to fiat currencies created by public institutions more or less controlled by politicians.
So indeed Michael Saylor has stumbled, even if it is justified by the fact that he did not know what Meloni was trying to do in 2019.
In fact, it is very likely that his focus was more on the CFA Franc than on the current Italian Prime Minister, perhaps precisely because one of the states using this currency (the Central African Republic) was the second in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, alongside the CFA Franc itself.