France has convened the Italian ambassador Teresa Castaldo after the words of Luigi Di Maio and Alessandro Di Battista on the "colonial franc" (the CFA) used in fourteen African countries.
"These statements - say French diplomatic sources quoted by the ANSA agency - by a high Italian authority are hostile and without reason given the partnership of France and Italy within the European Union. They are read in a context of Italian internal politics ".
Ambassador Teresa Castaldo was summoned by the Cabinet Director of the Minister for European Affairs, Nathalie Loiseau. "The Cabinet Director of the Minister for European Affairs, Nathalie Loiseau, summoned the Italian Ambassador following the unacceptable words and without reason pronounced yesterday by the Italian authorities".
Arlando of the crisis of migrants during a meeting in Avezzano, Luigi Di Maio had strongly attacked France: "There are dozens of African states in which France prints its own currency, the franc of the colonies, and with that currency the public debt is financed French. Macron first makes us the moral and then continues to finance the public debt with the money with which he exploits the African countries ".
"If we want to stop the departures we begin to tackle this issue and we start to do it also at the UN, not just in the European Union - explained Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio -. Italy should be heard: in the coming weeks there will be a parliamentary initiative of the M5S that will engage both the Italian government and the European institutions, and all supranational diplomatic institutions, to start sanctioning those countries that do not decolonize Africa, because what is happening in the Mediterranean is the result of the actions of some countries that then also make us the moral ".
Interviewed by Fabio Fazio, Di Battista reiterated Di Maio's words "Currently France near Lyon, print the currency used in 14 African countries, almost all countries in the sub-Saharan area. Which not only use a currency printed by France, but to keep the fixed rate, first with the French franc and today with the Euro, are forced to pay about 50% of their money in a current account managed by the French Treasury. Current account with which a small part of the French public debt is financed, or about 0.5% ".
But what is the CFA? The franc of the "Communauté Financière Africaine" ("African Financial Community") was introduced in 1945 in the French colonies of West Africa and today is a currency used by fourteen West and Central African countries (Cameroon, Chad, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea) , Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo). The currency is managed by the French Central Bank with a fixed exchange established with the euro.
At the end of 2017 French President Emmanuel Macron announced his intention to reform the CFA franc and said he would be in favor of his suppression: "If some countries are not happy with the FCA - Macron said - just leave it and create their own currency" . Since then, however, no member country of the African Financial Community has submitted any request to leave the area.