In the last month Italy’s new government has passed a bill that makes any transaction over 1000 euro illegal. They also said that they wanted to progressively lower that to around 300 euro.
Keep in mind that in Italy most people use cash to pay things such as rent, wedding ceremonies, moped purchases and you name it, cash is king in Italy, it’s very unlike the united states where credit has been king for so long but now reverting back to cash gradually. Italy is saying the reason for such control of peoples money is to lesson the amount of tax evasion.
Not only are they making the above cash transactions illegal, but credit card companies in Italy now have to report to the government each and every credit transaction that happens. wow, horrendous oversight happening. Banks are no longer allowed to allow anyone to withdraw 10,000 euros. So imagine if you had a few hundred thousand euro in an Italian bank and you decided you wanted to cash out. Now this is not allowed. The story is not finished, Italy has also put cameras on the Swiss borders to see which Italians cross that border and each person that crosses is now subject to audit by the Italian government.
Is your money safe in any bank? Is it safe inside safe deposit boxes? Personally I do not think so. If the valuables become dormant in a safe deposit box, the bank regularly turns this money over to the unclaimed property division of the state. The state then turns around and sells this property, if coins or jewelry they sell it at much lower rates then what its worth, sometimes at face value and will give the claimant hell trying to get this money back, just look at the recent problems with Bank of America in California owing over 100 million dollars to people that had no idea there safe deposit boxes were emptied. The bank claims that they tried to contact the rightful owner but in reality does not make an attempt.
Is our money really safe anymore? Will there come a day where withdrawals become illegal like those in Europe?
Related story in Bloomberg playing it down, using tax evasion as usual.