German ministers oppose over €10,000 limit on cash transactions

(Bloomberg) – Two of Germany’s top ministers are at odds over the possible introduction of a cap on cash transactions.

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Nancy Faeser wants a limit on physical payments “significantly below €10,000” ($10,400). This would reduce the risk of “assets being concealed by criminals”, the interior minister, a member of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats, told reporters in Berlin on Wednesday.

Yet Finance Minister Christian Lindner, who leads the pro-business Free Democrats, opposes restrictions on cash payments on principle.

“There is currently no agreement within the German government to approve a European Commission proposal for an EU-wide cash payment limit of €10,000,” the finance ministry said in a statement. response to a Bloomberg survey.

The clash comes against the backdrop of a European Union proposal to introduce a block-wide cash cap of at least €10,000 by the end of the year – with the possibility of set even lower national ceilings.

Other countries such as France, Italy or the Netherlands have already implemented rules on this subject. If Germany does not accept the EU executive’s proposal, the limit could still be introduced by a qualified majority of member states.

“I guess the EU proposal will pass – I’m pretty sure there will be a majority for the 10,000 euro cash limit,” Faeser said when asked if she and Lindner had exchanged views on the subject. “I am sure that I will find a solution with the German finance minister.”

The president of the Federal Criminal Police Office, Holger Muench, supports Faeser’s proposal, pointing out that Germany is currently far too attractive for cash couriers in particular and that the authorities have difficulty dealing with them.

“If we arrest them and they say the 30,000 euros they have is going to buy a construction machine, you have to be able to debunk that first,” he said.

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James R. Rhodes