The European Union is in danger of “criminalising” the use of physical cash with its new anti-money laundering laws, an MEP has warned.
Dr Gunnar Beck, a representative for the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, has warned that the EU appears to be pushing for the “criminalisation” of the use of physical cash with its new anti-money laundering (AML) laws.
Politicians in Brussels have long been pondering an upper legal limit on the value of cash transactions within the bloc, with lawmakers detailing plans to ban Europeans from spending over €10,000 in physical tender as part of a single transaction.
The European Parliament however has now voted for such a proposed limit to be dropped down to as little as €7,000 as part of efforts to clamp down on money laundering and tax dodging within the bloc, with officials also voting to see cryptocurrency transactions paying for goods and services that are valued over €1,000 to be banned.
Many within the parliament appear to be justifying the decisions as being an important step in curtailing criminality within Europe, though Dr Beck warns that the limits on cash payments now appear to have gone too far.
In a statement to Breitbart Europe, Beck emphasised that while the AfD welcomed additional efforts to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing, it rejected the parliament’s call for cash transactions to be curtailed.
“While we should focus on money laundering by organized crime and Islamist terrorists, the EU chooses to tighten its surveillance of German savers and pensioners transactions,” Dr Beck remarked. “This is a mistake.”
He went on to claim that the AfD were now the “only party defending cash freedom” in Germany, with the members of other supposedly right-leaning parties from the country allegedly voting in favour of the cash restrictions, despite criticising the implementation of similar measures at home.
The populist representative also expressed concern about the nature of the measures Brussels is looking to pass, with the fact that Eurocrats have reportedly decided to opt “for a regulation instead of a directive” meaning that individual nation-states will not be able to avoid having to implement the anti-cash reforms, even if they want to protect the use of physical legal tender within their own countries.
**By Peter Cadle