EU Steps Up The Pace For Cashless Society In 2017/18
- EU Steps Up The Pace For Cashless Society In 2017/18
by Graham Vanbergen, True Publica, via http://www.globalresearch.ca/
On the 23rd January 2017 the EU Commission issued the “Commission Initiative Roadmap” for 2018 regarding the step up fight against the financing of terrorism, also known as its ‘Payments Restriction Initiative’ or as we are reading more often, the cashless society. This document is an extension of the communication document dated February 2016 (COM-2016/50) and updated to include new regulations for member countries to implement and future intentions by the Commission.
The policy looks to the “Regulation on the controls of cash entering or leaving the Community and relevance of potential upper limits to cash payments.” The Action Plan states that “Payments in cash are widely used in the financing of terrorist activities.” In its conclusions on the fight against terrorism, the Economic and Financial Affairs Council of 12 February 2016 called on the Commission:
“to explore the need for appropriate restrictions on cash payments exceeding certain thresholds. In particular the Proposal for an amendment of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive2 (COM (2016) 450), which introduced stricter transparency rules and other measures targeted specifically at terrorism financing. Furthermore, the initiative should be seen in conjunction with the ECB’s decision of 4 May (20163) to discontinue the production of the EUR 500 banknote and stop the issuance of this denomination by around 2018 to address concerns that these notes could be used in financing illicit activities.”
The report goes on to advise that “any measure restricting cash payments would be complementary to the specific actions addressed by the review” and to include “virtual currencies (such as BitCoin) and prepaid instruments (such as pre-paid credit cards) when they are used anonymously.”
New anti-money laundering rules will cover high value goods such as works of art, precious stones or auctioneers, which requires that they apply customer due diligence measures, full identification of customers and keeping records of transactions when receiving cash payments of €15,000 or more. This latest document extends the cash payments rule by reducing the €15,000 limit on transactions to €10,000 by June 2017.
Unbelievably, the EU Commission is using the logic of banning cash by stating their “remains the lack of readily available and solid evidence on legitimate vs illegitimate cash transactions.” They maintain that “It is difficult to quantify the legitimate or illegitimate use of cash.”
These statements are clearly untrue. Evidence on the amount of cash and how it is used in any given economy is widely known and many government’s even publish it quarterly or annually. For instance, on average, wallets in Germany hold nearly twice as much cash—about $123 worth—as those in Australia, the US, France and Holland, according to a recent Federal Reserve report on how consumers paid for things in seven countries. Roughly 80% of all transactions in Germany are conducted in cash. (In the US, it’s less than 50%.) And cash is the dominant form of payment there even for large transactions.
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