As people write extensively on the US immigration ban, on the other side of Atlantic Europe also got in a ban act much silently. This European ban is on the new source of terror identified by the governments – cash. The government’s War on cash is happening relentlessly.
Now Europe just announced a roadmap to limit cash usage across the continent.
Simon Black explains (HT: Good friend Prabhat):
Most of the world is in an uproar right now over the travel ban that Donald Trump hastily imposed late last week on citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries.
But there was another ban that was quietly proposed last week, and this one has far wider implications: a ban on cash.
The European Union’s primary executive authority, known as the European Commission, issued a “Road Map” last week to initiate continent-wide legislation against cash.
There are already a number of anti-cash legislative measures that have been passed in individual European member states.In France, for example, it’s illegal to make purchases of more than 1,000 euros in cash. And any cash deposit or withdrawal to/from a French bank account exceeding 10,000 euros within a single month must be reported to the authorities.
Italy banned cash payments above 1,000 euros back in 2011; Spain has banned cash payments in excess of 2,500 euros.
And the European Central Bank announced last year that it would stop production of 500-euro notes, which will eventually phase them out altogether.
But apparently these disparate rules don’t go far enough. According to the Commission, the presence of cash controls in some EU countries, coupled with the lack of cash controls in other EU countries, creates loopholes for criminals and terrorists.
So that’s why the European Commission is now working to standardize a ban on cash, or at least implement severe restrictions and reporting, across the entire EU.
Jerry Lynn on Naked Capitalism blog adds:
For now, the pretext most often wheeled out for this escalating assault on physical currency is the War on Terror, but there are also the familiar bugbears like organized crime, tax evasion and the informal economy.
These justifications merely serve to obscure the real ultimate goal: the complete — or near-complete — technocratic control over the money supply. In a world where every transaction must be electronic (i.e. traceable) and where biometric authentication systems have become the norm, the influence of big banks, corporations, tech firms and governments over our lives will be virtually unlimited.
Another important perk of cash is that it limits central banks’ ability to continue conducting arguably the greatest financial heist of the modern age, i.e., negative interest rate policy (NIRP). As long as cash exists, there’s no way of preventing depositors from doing the logical thing – i.e. taking their money out of the bank and parking it where the erosive effects of NIRP can’t reach it.
But is not going to be really easy in Europe. Germans especially are conscious of cash usage:
In some countries, the maximum cash limit is significantly higher. For example, in Europe’s biggest economy, Germany, recent attempts by the government to set a threshold of €5,000 triggered a fierce public backlash. The German tabloid Bild published a scathing open letter titled “Hands Off Our Cash,” while a broad spectrum of political parties condemned the proposed measures as an attack on data protection and privacy.
“Cash allows us to remain anonymous during day-to-day transactions. In a constitutional democracy, that is a freedom that has to be defended,” tweeted the Green MP Konstantin von Notz. Even Bunderbank President Jens Weidmann criticized the government’s proposals, telling Bild (emphasis added): “It would be fatal if citizens got the impression that cash is being gradually taken away from them.”
Germany’s neighbor to the south, Austria, has similar reservations about the EU’s plans to suppress cash. The Deputy Economy Minister Harald Mahrer said that Austrians should have the constitutional right to protect their privacy. “We don’t want someone to be able to track digitally what we buy, eat and drink, what books we read and what movies we watch,” Mahrer said on Austrian public radio station Oe1. “We will fight everywhere against rules” including caps on cash purchases, he said.
In other words, any attempt by the European Commission to set a mandatory continent-wide limit is likely to be met with fierce resistance — at least from some countries. Others are already so far down the path toward a cashless society that they’ll barely notice the difference.
I hope people in other countries also do not give up on cash so easily. We are just not realising how powerful governments and its central banks are going to become by limiting cash..