Total CEO: Euro Should Play Bigger Role in Oil Payments
French oil group Total’s chief executive (CEO) said the euro should have a bigger role in international trade although it was not possible to do without the US dollar (USD).
Christophe de Margerie was responding to questions about calls by French policymakers to find ways at European Union (EU) level to bolster the use of the euro in international business, following the
record US$8.9bn fine
for sanctions busting imposed by the US on France’s BNP Paribas.
“Doing without the USD, that wouldn’t be realistic, but it would be good if the euro was used more,” he said. “There is no reason to pay for oil in dollars,” and while oil prices were quoted in dollars per barrel did not mean that payments actually had to be made in that currency.
French finance minister Michel Sapin last week indicated that eurozone finance ministers would discuss ways of boosting use of the euro in international trade in their monthly meeting being held today.
“Shouldn’t the euro be more important in the global economy?” Sapin asked journalists. “We have to consider the weight of the dollar and the consequences of pricing things in dollars when it means that American law applies outside the US”
Increased use of the euro and other alternatives to the dollar “would be a way to protect businesses when, outside of US territory, they carry out transactions that are perfectly legal in the country they belong to,” he added.