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Legends and narratives

Paulo Rego*

Led by the German obsession with fighting inflation, Europe has lived through decades of debt restrictions, with budgetary control mechanisms that far surpassed the myth according to which the European Union would be reduced to a single currency, with free movement of goods and people. However, the invasion of Ukraine caused inflation to skyrocket, on top of a pandemic crisis that created deep fissures in inflationary control. Theoretically, authoritarian regimes with planned economies lose out to the growth potential powered by economic freedom.

But if it is true that Russian imperialism has never sustained a rise in GDP per capita, the numbers show the success of the “Chinese miracle”; that long ago took over capitalist communism.

What was not so clear, although it is easily understood, is that the protectionist mindset – including long periods of isolation – allows countries like China strategies that are completely impossible in the West.

In fact, the mother of all contradictions is exposed. The shortage of raw materials and food products – far beyond the energy crisis – is benefiting Moscow and its allies. Never has Russia sold so much food, raw materials, gas and oil – directly or indirectly.

At least in the short term, the blockade has political symbolism unmatched in economic consequences. Especially because, in centralized economies, the control of information and dissidence allows them to endure popular suffering over time.

the opposite of European democracies, where governments will end up paying at the polls for the money that is missing from their people’s pockets.

The war is obviously not the fairy tale that Russia invents on its communication channels.

But it is really far from being the story told in the West.

*Director General of PLATAFORMA

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Generalist media, focusing on the relationship between Portuguese-speaking countries and China.

Plataforma Studio


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