French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire warned that his country wants to prevent Facebook Libra development in the European Union due to concerns about its risk to national governments’ ‘monetary sovereignty’ and potential abuse, the BBC reports. Le Maire made the comments during a Paris meeting of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
"This eventual privatization of money contains risks of abuse of dominant position, risks to sovereignty and risks for consumers and for companies,” Le Maire said. He also pointed to the ‘systemic risk’ Libra could represent, due to the sheer size of Facebook’s user base:
"Libra also represents a systemic risk from the moment when you have two billion users. Any breakdown in the functioning of this currency, in the management of its reserves, could create considerable financial disruption.
All these concerns about Libra are serious. I therefore want to say with plenty of clarity: in these conditions, we cannot authorize the development of Libra on European soil.”
A European Commission spokesperson responded by suggesting that officials are still open to considering the project but would like to learn more about Facebook’s plans. She also emphasized that Libra would require some type of licensing and authorization before it could ever be launched in the European Union.