Bank of Italy pushes back on government’s pro-cash policies


The Bank of Italy, the country’s central bank, has shot back at the new Italian government over its plans to promote cash over digital payments.

According to Finextra, plans by the government are facing pusback over black economy and tax evasion concerns.

The government led by Giorgia Meloni has proposed lifting the legal limit for cash transactions from €1000 to €5000 and enabling merchants to refuse digital payments of less than €60.

Fabrizio Balassone – chief of the Bank of Italy’s research unit – has testified in Italian parliament that ‘limitations to cash use pose a hurdle to several forms of crime and (tax evasion).

Currently, merchants in Italy have to accept electronic payments of any value or face fines of €30 and 4% of the transaction value.

Balassone told parliament that going back on the move risks “clashing with the drive to modernise the country”.

Meloni previously said in a video on social media, “Until €60, we would like not to force retailers to accept electronic payments. But let’s say that the €60 threshold is indicative, for me it could even be lower.”

Earlier this year, The government of Ireland proposed a legislative framework to protect access to cash in the Irish Republic.

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