Chancellor Karl Nehammer of Austria is advocating for the inclusion of the right to use cash for payments in the country’s constitution. He believes that despite the rise of banking cards and digital currencies, cash remains a popular means of payment in Austria, and its people should have a constitutional right to use cash.
Nehammer expressed his support for cash by highlighting its significance in everyday life. He mentioned examples such as pocket money for children, the rainy day reserve at home, and having money in the wallet just in case. He emphasized that in Austria alone, €47 billion is withdrawn from ATMs every year, and on average, every Austrian carries €102 in cash. With these statistics in mind, Nehammer stated that he is committed to ensuring that cash is constitutionally protected as a means of payment.
To further this goal, Nehammer has assigned Finance Minister Magnus Brunner to develop a proposal before a scheduled meeting with banks in September. The proposal will address how cash can be enshrined in the constitution and protected as a valid form of payment.
The idea of protecting the use of cash in Austria’s constitution has been a recurring topic among the country’s right-wing politicians. Despite reassurances from the Austrian National Bank that cash will continue to be accepted and denial of any plans to phase it out, right-wing politicians have expressed concerns over the potential loss of the right to make anonymous cash payments.
However, some individuals, including Herbert Kickl, the leader of the far-right Freedom Party (FPO), have criticized Nehammer’s decision to adopt the idea championed by right-wing politicians. Kickl accused Nehammer of stealing ideas from the FPO and lacking originality.
In conclusion, Chancellor Nehammer is advocating for the inclusion of the right to use cash for payments in Austria’s constitution. He believes that cash remains a significant and popular means of payment in the country, and its people should be granted a constitutional right to use cash. Toward this end, Nehammer has tasked the finance minister with developing a proposal that will ensure the constitutional protection of cash as a form of payment. However, his decision to adopt this idea has faced criticism from some political opponents. Regardless, Nehammer remains steadfast in his commitment to protecting the use of cash for payments in Austria.