ITALY: RENZI RAISES THE CASH LIMIT TO EUR 3,000
â€œYesterday, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced that he intended to raise the limit on cash use from 1,000 to 3,000 euros. We demand a prompt reaction from Europe, because if this actually happens, it would be a significant step backwards in Italyâ€™s path of modernization and an unexpected help from the government for the underground economy of our countryâ€- said Geronimo Emili, president of CashlessWay.
Renziâ€™s stance is in direct opposition to the one taken by his own government, which was stated by Pier Carlo Padoan, the Minister of Economy, in November 2014: â€œThe decision to limit the circulation of cash is motivated by the need to bring the â€˜underground economyâ€™ out into the openâ€¦ limiting the use of cash and developing electronic payment instruments can have a positive effect on the economy.â€
The decision to raise the ceiling on cash payments would be in contrast to the provisions of the EU, which on the contrary, recently decided to lower the limit of available cash as a way to combat money-laundering, tax evasion and the financing of terrorism. The new European guidelines, for example, have established (in July 2015) the lowering of the limits of cash use by foreign nationals (non-EU) in EU countries by more than 30%, from 15,000 to 10,000 euros per capita.
Italy established the 999.99 euro ceiling in August of 2011 during the Monti government, a decision that France has now also followed, lowering its ceiling from 3,000 to 1,000 euros.
CashlessWay considers that a measure of this kind would ultimately affect the process of the gradual reduction of the â€œePayment divideâ€ that currently places Italy among the bottom group in Europe for the rate of the spread of the culture of digital payments among its citizens. Raising the spending limit on cash would also mark a step backwards in the policy of financial inclusion, to the detriment of the poorest and oldest sectors of the population.
Geronimo Emili, president CashlessWay
CashlessWay [Global Hub for ePayment Culture] is the Italian association to spread digital payments culture: to support and promote the use of cashless payment instruments to increase ePayment potential awareness. CashlessWay is a real hub, a junction of interests, expertises and ideas, in which every aspect of digital payments can be studied and popularized: communication and promotion activities, surveys, polls, international meetings, seminars and publications.