The Strategist

Germany Wants To Set Up a Limit for Cash Payments

02/03/2016 - 15:42

The German Ministry of Finance is going to introduce limit of 5,000 euros when paying in cash. This move is justified by combating the financing of terrorism. Financiers’ plans have already been criticized in the trade and by human rights defenders.

Sean MacEntee via flickr
Sean MacEntee via flickr
The German federal government intends to introduce restrictions on financial calculations in cash. Finance Ministry proposes to set the upper limit of 5,000 euros, reported on Wednesday, February 3, the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The reasons referred to the fight against the financing of international terrorism, including financial support for the group "Islamic State" lent by the jihadists’ supporters from western countries.

According to the Ministry of Finance’s rationale of the suggested innovations, the world has changed after the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015. Cash are an important means of financing for terrorists. Other European countries have had limitations in the financial calculations in cash for a long time, but a general rule still does not exist. Federal Ministry of Finance requires a unified position on this issue across Europe, yet is ready to introduce the limit only in Germany in case of refusal.

Representatives of trade, particularly sellers of used machinery, furniture, luxury items and jewelers, have criticized the Ministry’s plans. Human rights activists also opposed the intention. "Whoever starts the discussion on the limit for cash payment or the complete abolition of cash, should not forget consequences of these steps for consumers," - said the representative of the Federal Association of Consumer Protection Societies Klaus Müller. In particular, when people pay through the Internet, these payments leave traces of personal data that may be used by third parties for commercial purposes. "Cash payments are to protect consumer data. They cannot be subjected to danger," - said Müller.


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