Now Greece Bans Cash – Again
By Staff News & Analysis - January 11, 2013

Greek Finance Ministry plans to put an end to cash payments. Purchases worth more than 500 euro will be not possible with cash money anymore. Finance minister Yiannis Stournaras told the Parliament on Thursday that he examines that "the expansion of electronic transactions with credit cards and other electronic payment methods for a wide range of transactions for amounts much smaller than those required by current legislation," which is currently at 3,000 euro. All transactions worth more than 500 euro will have to be made only through money transfer through banks, or credit/debit cards and checks. – Keep Talking Greece

Dominant Social Theme: Irresponsible people – not paying their fair share – are forcing us to do this.

Free-Market Analysis: Greece is going to ban most cash transactions. As of last year, cash transactions over 1500 euros were banned. This moves the ban down by 1,000 euros.

But from what we've read, the average Greek's transactions are already recorded in numerous ways so it is possible this move – reported speculatively in several publications to be sure (including apparently the Greek Ekathimerini News) – is aimed at impressing officials at the European Union and International Monetary Fund. Greece is shortly due for a good deal more bailout money.

In fact, the Greek Parliament is voting today on a new tax bill that broadens the tax base to raise another 2.5 billion euros, and also introduces new annual income thresholds for salaried taxpayers. It does away with tax breaks for the self-employed.

Entrepreneurs have emerged as the latest "bandits" in Greece's ongoing efforts to bleed the wretched Greek carcass of its last available drop of revenue. Government benefits have been slashed, taxes raised and Greeks are being pursued with maniacal determination for taxes, paid or not.

It's all about satisfying the Eurocrats and the IMF. Greece is essentially being treated like a developing country now, with the IMF applying the same formula that has made its ministrations hated around the world.

The EU is about to hand over 49.1 billion euros ($63.9 billion) to Greece pending more efficient "austerity." The IMF is deciding on the release of an additional 3.4 billion euros …

And so the Greeks – government officials – are determined to please. The idea apparently is to show that the boot has been placed on the collective neck of the Greek people. This will put a collective smile on the face of Greece's technocratic masters.

It is also cleverly calibrated, as those who have deposited large amounts in Swiss bank accounts are not about to be swept up in such a ban. Greek elites are not to suffer from these expanding embargoes.

They have been exposed, however. Not long ago it emerged that the IMF had in its possession a list of top Greek pols and other officials who had illegal Swiss bank accounts.

The IMF handed over the list to the Greek government, which promptly sat on it. In fact, the person who was pursued was the one who reported on the existence of the list in his magazine Hot Doc. Kostas Vaxevan, editor and owner, soon faced up to three years in jail for violating privacy laws.

He was arrested in October but found not guilty in November of last year. Observers commented on the time and the speed of the trial. It was a courageous judge indeed that declared Vaxevan innocent.

The Greeks are being made into an example. The era of easy money is over. The era of global consolidation is upon us. Now that the technology is here, everyone is to pay in digital currency and all transactions will therefore be available for tax. That's the idea, anyway.

Greece was already implementing a ban on cash transactions over 1500 euros so this is merely an adjustment rather than a new policy. But one waits for the day when the EU itself will announce such a policy. Spain has banned larger cash amounts and Italy, too. Here's something from last February's Economic Policy Journal on the Italian ban:

It's Really, Really Getting Crazy: [Bloomberg has reported that] Italians Banned from Cash Transactions of More than 1,000 Euros … "Prime Minister Mario Monti, in office just over a month, wants landlords, plumbers, electricians and small businesses to stop conducting large transactions in cash, which critics say helps them evade taxes. The government on Dec. 4 reduced the maximum allowed cash payment to 1,000 euros from 2,500 euros" … The noose is tightening, everywhere. The elitists and banksters are clearly going for the big play. They want to monitor every transaction you make and they want to monitor you.

After Thoughts

Mexico has a ban as well. And none of it is crazy. We will see whether this 500 euro ban will materialize. Surely all will soon be coming to a bank near you.