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Austrian Finance Minister Gernot Blümel. Wikipedia/EU Commission. Photo supplied

Cash limits: Austria rebels against the EU Commission

Austria's government has opposed a cash limit demanded by the EU Commission. Cash is a sensitive issue in Austria and of fundamental importance for the citizens for the feeling of security and freedom, said Finance Minister Gernot Blümel (ÖVP) according to the German Press Agency on Monday in a conference with colleagues from other EU countries.

Published: July 27, 2021, 12:19 pm


    In addition, Austria sees no additional benefit from binding limits, which is why it has spoken out against it. The EU Commission presented its plans against money laundering and terrorist financing last week. Bills amounting to 10 000 euros or more must no longer be allowed to be paid in cash. Exceptions are provided for transactions between private individuals or people without a bank account.

    Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin were also targeted by the Brussels authority. According to the legislative package, transactions with the digital coins must be fully traceable. Anonymous digital purses – called wallets – are to be banned. In addition, the EU Commission wants to equip the new anti-money laundering authority ALMA (Anti-Money Laundering Authority) with far-reaching competencies and, for example, be able to take over the supervision of certain financial companies if there is an increased risk of money laundering or terrorist financing.

    Austria had already rejected cash limits in the past. The AfD in Germany also expressed fears that the anti-gold laundering law was a further step towards the abolition of cash. Notes and coins are a popular means of payment, especially in Austria and Germany. In several EU countries there is already an upper limit for cash payments, but not in Germany and eight other countries.

    In Germany, however, an ID must be shown if a sum of 10 000 euros or more is paid. If you plan to buy gold or silver in cash, you must show your ID to the dealer for a sum of EUR 2 000 or more.

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