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18th Jan 2020

Emerging nations crafting plan to come to Europe's aid

  • Brazil and the other Brics are fashioning a plan to aid Europe, the country's finance minister has said (Photo: guipimenta)

In a stunning reversal of fortune, it has emerged that the so-called Brics nations, the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - who almost alone in the global economy have weathered the financial crisis sitting atop huge international reserves - are planning to come to Europe's aid.

Brazilian finance minister Guido Mantega on Tuesday said that the Brics states are to hold a meeting on 22 September to discuss co-ordination of an EU rescue plan.

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"We will meet next week in Washington to decide how to help the European Union to get out of this situation," he said.

The nations are considering substantially boosting their holdings of euro-denominated bonds in their foreign exchange reserves.

According to Brazilian business daily Valor, the Brics nations are to unveil a plan that would go beyond Europe and look to aid a stabilisation of the wider global economy.

However, the paper also said that the plan would involve investment in only the stronger European economies, such as Germany and the UK. At the same time, the Financial Times has reported that Italy has taken its begging bowl to Beijing, with finance minister Giulio Tremonti meeting with the head of the China Investment Corporation, China’s major sovereign wealth fund, to discuss the possibility of the Middle Kingdom purchasing Italian bonds.

Brazil’s Mantega for his part did not give additional details of what was being considered. The Brics pow-wow is to take place a day before the wider G20 meeting and ahead of a gathering of the International Monetary fund from 23 to 25 September.

What have been regularly referred to as ‘emerging economies’ have seen their growth outstrip that of the main industrialised nations in recent years. China, the most successful of the group, maintains reserves worth some $3 trillion.

The EU has in multiple reports and plans of its own expressed how only through restructuring and austerity can the bloc hope to compete with China. As Brussels' austerity strategy wobbles in the face of faltering growth and soaring unemployment, Europe may have to submit to the ultimate indignity of a rescue from the former subjects of its colonialism.

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