Getting rid of paper money may help fight terrorism and even help prop up the banks—but is there a more sinister reason for these new financial controls?
Germany is considering abolishing the €500 note and introducing a €5,000 (us$5,600) limit on cash transactions. It is part of a plan proposed by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s partners in the Social Democratic Party to cut off terrorist financing in Europe. Banning the bills will supposedly help make people safer. In reality, it will do the exact opposite.
German Deputy Finance Minister Michael Meister told Deutsche Welle on February 3 that Germany would push these reforms at the European level. “Since money laundering and terrorism financing are cross-border threats,” it makes sense to adopt a European Union-wide “solution,” he said. But “if a European solution isn’t possible, Germany will move ahead on its own” (emphasis added throughout).