Federal government declares its support for cash

July 17, 2023

On 30 June 2023, the federal government declared its support for cash in response to a major question from an opposition party. In its answer to a major question on the digital euro, the Federal Government made it clear that a possible digital euro should only complement, but not replace it. “Cash is and remains the central form of money in our free society,” the federal government writes in its answer, referring to the EU fundamental right.

Euro cash and its qualification of banknotes as legal tender find their legal anchorage in the legal foundations of European law, supplemented by the legal basis of the Deutsche Bundesbank in the Bundesbank Act on Banknote Issuance, which defines euro banknotes as the only unrestricted legal tender. The ECB has no power to change these legal bases.

“In line with the positions of the Bundesvereinigung Deutscher Geld- und Wertdienste BDGW, the Federal Government attaches great importance to the general availability and usability of cash and is committed to the continued existence of cash as legal tender,” says Michael Mewes, Chairman of the BDGW.

“This commitment of the Federal Government to cash, however, requires further efforts and measures, in particular concrete regulations for the maintenance of a nationwide sufficient and suitable cash infrastructure including the permanent availability of change in and for the retail trade”, Michael Mewes continues.

To the knowledge of the Federal Government, the European Central Bank (ECB) has no plans to “abolish cash”. The ECB has repeatedly emphasised that a digital euro is intended to complement cash, not replace it.

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