Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer Solicit Constitutional Right to use Cash

The country has lagged behind on digital payments.”More and more people are worried that cash could be restricted as a means of payment in Austria,” said Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer.

Being able to continue using cash for payments rather than cards or digital currencies should be enshrined in the Austrian constitution, Chancellor Karl Nehammer said.

“More and more people are worried that cash could be restricted as a means of payment in Austria,” he said, insisting that people have a “right to cash”.

Austria has lagged behind other European countries on digital payments, with people clinging to coins and bills, particularly for smaller, everyday items.




“In Austria alone, €47 billion is withdrawn from ATMs every year, and on average, every Austrian carries €102 in cash,” Nehammer said on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

Nehammer announced a three-point plan on Thursday, appointing Finance Minister Magnus Brunner to work on it.

Under the plan, the right to cash would be protected in the constitution, it must also be possible to pay with cash, and the national bank would be obliged to provide the necessary cash flow, with banks located at a reasonable proximity to citizens.

A roundtable will be held in September between representatives of the ministries, industry and the central bank to implement the idea “in the best possible, reasonable and legal manner,” Nehammer said.

The debate over cash has been going on for several years in Austria and previously the populist Freedom Party demanded its protection.

Nehammer’s announcement was met with criticism from both ends of the political spectrum. Philip Kucher, member of the opposition Social Democratic Party, said the right to cash was worthless if “there won’t be a single ATM left in Austria”. The Freedom Party accused Nehammer of stealing its idea.


August 4, 2023 Published by Politico News.

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