News & Analysis
Now Greece Bans Cash – Again
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.
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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.
Conclusion: 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.
Posted by Leviathanfighter on 01/13/13 03:44 AM
Well, what this all boils down to is who is going to control civilization--the people, or tiny coteries of politician/gangsters.
Since we know that the gangsters will not and cannot run civilization properly, it's going to have to be the people. Greeks are going to have to take control of their money, its creation, its form, and all aspects of its use.
But how? How can people take control unless they organize themselves in interest groups which delegate and see that the job gets done?
But wasn't that what the present Greek government was supposed to do? Well, the present Greek government is not doing it, so what is to be done?
The only way I see out of this is the termination of the present government and radical decentralization.
What ought to replace it could barely be called a "government" at all. It would be what Mises suggested in his book "Liberalism": various polities, large or small, independent nations, wherever enough populations for plebiscites can be held, with no "centralized" body controlling the entire territory of "Greece." There could be 50 or 100 Greek speaking countries, it makes no difference.
Within them, what passes for government would be a few elders and sheriffs scattered around whom the people hardly even notice as they go about their daily tasks of producing and consuming, buying and selling.
In such new states, there would be:
No perpetual war.
No police state.
No debt slavery.
No vast bureaucracy,
Just people interacting, trading, producing and consuming. The only difficult task remaining would be to squelch the minority of aggressive megalomaniacs who dedicate themselves only to power, riches, and conquest, and who refuse to leave their neighbors in peace.
Posted by BritishThermalUnits on 01/12/13 09:43 PM
Libertarian Jerry, that sums it up nicely - as horrible as it is true. My belief is that remediation can happen only when the unholy mess uterly collapses, which it certainly will. But you can bet the process will be hellish for everyone. When that time comes, which seems feverishly imminent, I wouldn't want to be unprepared. Expect the worst.
Posted by Libertarian Jerry on 01/12/13 09:41 AM
I have observed,over the past several decades,that paralleling the growth of the size and scope of the government has been the equal growth of the surveilance state. What the elites have done is to make America into an economic police state. As firearms in the possession of citizens is one of the last bulwarks against tyranny so is the "underground" ecomomy." "Off the books" or underreported "income" has kept many people and small businessess from bankrutcy and allowed people to survive economically. What is noticed is that the spokesmen for the State and the Mainstream Media villify people trying to hold onto the fruits of their labor as criminals or illegal "tax Protesters" or people not paying their "fair share" or other kinds of wicked and terrible "acts of selfishness." Observe the same kind of rhetoric used against gun ownwers calling them "gun nuts" or "gun crazies" or other such vile names. The Establishment Elites and political class have bankrupted America with a Welfare/Warfare State that has destroyed the American Economy as well as the American Dollar. So today these same eltes are now desperate for resources to keep their Ponzi Scheme going. In the end they will bleed the productive people in America white and at the same time disarm people so that they cannot protect themselves from the parasites who wish to steal their wealth. As Margeret Thatcher once said "Socialism works until you run out of other people's money." Today the Political Class has run out of other people's money and will do what ever it takes to squeeze the last penney out of every productive persons wallet. In order to do this, productive people have to be numbered,cataloged and spied upon to extract every cent out of them. Welcome to the world of the Economic Big Brother.
Posted by Agent Revolver on 01/12/13 06:56 AM
Hi bionic mosquito,
turn the letter "f" in "fractionable" topsy-turvy. Now you can say technology is here (-:
Posted by email@example.com on 01/11/13 11:30 PM
The Greeks are engaged in an interesting commie/socialist experiment: squeezing the last drop of blood from the turnip. Oh, and so too have the politicians, media, entertainers and others holding the same beliefs. Greece will fail just as have ever other political scheme that imposes the loot A to satisfy B. The Greeks are a beacon of what is to come in Amerika. For those who are not so blind that they refuse to see, there is time to prepare and those who don't prepare will be toast. Ignorance is bliss but it leads to the abyss.
Posted by Agent Revolver on 01/11/13 10:38 PM
Hmmm... let's see if anything turns out from the new parliament decision. Big Greek Wedding (-:
And a continuous one!
Posted by BritishThermalUnits on 01/11/13 08:14 PM
"And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." Rev 13:17
Someone needs to say it ...
Posted by WorkingClass on 01/11/13 07:30 PM
If cash can be eliminated your life will depend on your debit card. No bank account no food. If sombody says that sombody said that you spoke against The Party your account will be closed.
Posted by Bischoff on 01/11/13 07:27 PM
The only difference between a currency consisting of irredeemable paper, and a currency consisting of irredeemable electronic blips is the anonymity aspect of paper currency.
Posted by bionic mosquito on 01/11/13 02:26 PM
DB: Now that the technology is here, everyone is to pay in digital currency and all transactions will therefore be available for tax.
EPJ: They want to monitor every transaction you make and they want to monitor you.
BM: There is a further benefit to the bankers / elite (not to discount the benefit of tracking): the only action individuals can take to negatively impact the base for fractional reserves is to hold and transact in physical cash.
Conversely, the bankers would prefer all transactions to be electronic - in this way, the banks hold the digits, as opposed to individuals holding the cash. As long as the banks hold the digits, they can play the fractional reserve game.