Italy Banning Cash Transactions Over €5,000 As Latest European Austerity Package Revealed

Tyler Durden's picture

As part of its new austerity package, any cash transactions over 5,000 euros ($6,188) will be banned in an
effort to crack down on tax evasion, a government source said on
Monday, reports Reuters. "Reducing the ceiling on cash transactions, which currently stands
at 12,500 euros, forms part of the package of public sector hiring and
wage reductions and spending cutbacks being prepared by Economy
Minister Giulio Tremonti, the source said. The limit will also apply to cashiers' cheques." Yet another insolvent banking system comes to light, as all major transactions must occur within confines of Italy's financial institutions. We are confident this "simple" toggle will promptly fill Italy's empty tax coffers. Or not.

Reuters reports on what the Austerity package will likely look like via a draft it has obtained:

Italy's austerity budget to be approved on Tuesday will cut public sector hiring and pay, temporarily block those set to retire and reduce funding to local government, according to a draft obtained by Reuters.

The budget draft says only 20 percent of those who leave the public sector in 2011 to 2013 will be replaced, and it cuts transfers to municipal and regional authorities by 2 billion euros in 2011 and 3.8 billion in 2012.

Those who would have earned the right to retire in mid-2011 and at the end of 2011, according to the so-called retirement "windows", must remain at work for a further six months.

The budget, which aims to cut the deficit by around 13 billion euros in 2011, also makes cuts in the politically sensitive area of health spending, trimmed by 0.4 billion euros next year and 1.1 billion in 2012.

Spending by government ministries, including pay, is reduced by 8-10 percent per year in 2011 to 2013.

Other policies in the draft are a 10 percent cut from 2011 in the pay of government ministers and a 10 percent cut in the pay of public sector employees earning more than 75,000 euros.

The austerity package is still being hotly debated within the government and all the measures could be subject to change before final approval. The pay cuts for high earners is being resisted particularly fiercely by some ministers.

The government aims to cut the budget deficit from 5.3 percent of gross domestic product in 2009 to 2.7 percent in 2011.

The budget launches a crackdown on false claimants for invalidity benefits, announcing 100,000 checks per year in 2010-2012.

Among the victims of Italy's austerity plans is publicly funded think-tank ISAE, which conducts closely-watched surveys on Italian consumer and business confidence.

In future the functions carried out by ISAE will pass directly to the economy ministry, the draft says.

h/t RanSquawk

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doomandbloom's picture

The Mafia will have to start using credit cards...

Carl Spackler's picture

No.  They have already perfected the art of "structuring." It'll just increase the demand for software written to do this. 

Such a law is another worthless government gesture to try to raise tax revenue. 

ZackAttack's picture

This is exactly how Argentina started. Then they rioted and burned shit.

Only the first to panic managed to preserve any of their wealth.

SWRichmond's picture

Yeah, the acceleration seems to be ... accelerating.  I am doing all I can for now: watching.

Tortfeasor's picture

Greece did this early on too.  Worked great, iirc.

John McCloy's picture

  hmm...that should curb the rise in LIBOR?

Nothing to see here folks just continue to contribute to your 401ks please.

carbonmutant's picture

 Can you buy a Lamborghini on a VISA card?

Sudden Debt's picture

You actually can! A Visa Black card will enable you to buy one

Carl Spackler's picture

You can, BUT the dealer will no do that transaction unless you pay the interchange fee of 2%, in addition to the cost of the car.

Clampit's picture

Which should still be *considerably* less than MSRP ... ;-)


Any bets this actually increases the number of cash transactions? I know I'd "sell" my 911 that just "stopped running" for "$5K" to a "friend" ...


FrankIvy's picture

So how long before the cash transaction limit is lowered to 1,000 euros?


Citizen of an IKEA World's picture

How long before the limit is lowered to €250?

Mad Max's picture

Mark of the beast!  Get your mark of the beast right here!  That's right, step right up folks and get your official(tm) MARK OF THE BEAST right here while you wait!


Citizen of an IKEA World's picture

None will be permitted to conduct trade without a forearm tattoo of the Goldman Sachs logo.

tmosley's picture

Correction, brand, not tattoo.

OldTrooper's picture

Is it just me, or is this starting to sound like a perverse cross between Atlas Shrugged and Idiocracy?

tip e. canoe's picture

with a touch of Brazil thrown in just for shits & giggles

Coldcall's picture


Wow capital controls in Europe 2010! I find it quite incredible and makes me think things are way worse than perhaps even the most bearish prognosis.

John McCloy's picture

   The benefits of global welfare and socialized losses for bankers rears it's head. The elites never learn the lesson dictators, fascists and monarchs failed to learn throughout all of history. The masses cannot be ruled and rebellion and revolution is inevitable.

AnAnonymous's picture

This is why I appreciate this site so much: grand pompous style to achieve nothing.

Rebellion where?when?

Postal's picture

Rebellion occurs when the ignorant masses accept they have nothing left to lose. The goal of the elites is to ensure the sheeple never reach that point of realization.

Cheeky Bastard's picture


While you may continue to play the role of armchair-analyst and spew garbage about the population dynamics in time of war; let me teach you something from personal experience. Masses never revolt nor do "the masses" change anything. They are killed off or disposed in another way. Wealth is confiscated and utilized by various fractions which can yield power over a territory to grab more territory from other fractions. Resistance is always done by a small group of individuals, and no resistance can achieve its goals without the help of an outside sovereign army or intelligence. You just keep waiting for that "mass revolt and civil warfare". It will never happen. You will see graves before you see revolt.

RichardENixon's picture

What "personal experience" with "population dynamics in time of war" do you have, if  I may ask? Don't want to offend you, you seem to have a really short fuse.

Cheeky Bastard's picture

I was in one. That good enough for you 

RichardENixon's picture

Was that what turned you into such an arrogant prick?

Cheeky Bastard's picture

No. I was always like this. Its sort of a shield; it keeps idiots away. Much better than being nice.

You and war chickens like you can keep on believing in some mass resistance all you like; never had, and never will happen. Pure utopia; no historical, or any other, grounding.

War is not a natural state for a human being to exist in; self-preservation and functioning institutions are; and escape is the best way to stay alive. Only those stupid enough and/or indoctrinated enough chose to go first head on; the rest dont. I was stupid enough.


RichardENixon's picture

When did I say anything about believing in mass resistance? You refer to me as a "war chicken" without having any information about my background. You throw around hysterical accusations with no evidence to back any of it up. Seems to me that your kind of behavior would attract idiots rather than keep them away.

Cheeky Bastard's picture

What is your background. Unless you were in the trenches somewhere for months at time starved, outgunned and outmanned, with shrapnels inside of you; you were not in a war; more of a grown up camp. War is not killing Muslim kids and then going back to base to a game of ping pong and "Nickleback; Greatest Hits" CD and Bruce Springsteen poster on the wall to boost your patriotism. Thats camp.

Auric Goldfinger's picture

Enough with the talk you two.  Just get the rulers out and measure them already.



RichardENixon's picture

You are either doing some kind of schtick trying for some cheap laughs or you are psychotic. Either work on your routine so that it is at least minimally amusing or go to the VA hospital and see one of their shrinks. Your postings on this site are using up precious bandwidth, so do us all a favor and go somewhere else.

Postal's picture

And how do you know I wasn't? My ZH ID is my unit-assigned call. Rather arrogant of you to assume that you're the only one who knows about war when you know nothing about me. I could have been special forces, or never left CONUS--either way, you don't know. So don't try to sell me that you had to walk uphill both ways.

Budd Fox's picture

For as much as I am positively sure CB doesn't need any help defending his views ( far by me..), by few signs and reading his posts ( I am one of his followers..) I think we are talking with aveteran of a nasty war in the East, either Chechenya or another god forgotten place.

In that, I can assure you that whatever part he was fighting for, the "rebels" or the Red Army, doesn't matter, but I can assure you his direct experience has been much tougher and nastier than whatever the U.S> Army experienced after Viet Nam.

So his views may appear nasty...but in such a battlefield your views turn black or don't muck around with sociology, if you want to live or die...that's why we like him.

He's straightforward

Disclosure: I was in the Army, in an elite unit...never been in a combat zone, but trained some boys who went there.I also visited them in hospital with horrible wounds and one never walked again without a chair...maybe I cannot understand CB fully...but I can relate to what he says.

Postal's picture

His experiences and opinions are irrelevent if he's going to use them as justifiction to attack me: I gave him no cause to do so.

I stand by my original assertion: Sheeple don't rebel en mass unless there is no other alternative. This is why militiary leadership schools stress the importance of leadership. Push your troops too hard and they'll turn or desert. Soldiers should fight the enemy in front, not an unrealistic command behind.

Sheeple in a war zone are concerned with staying alive, not rebellion--which is why I think his anaogy isn't exactly relevent to my original post.

RichardENixon's picture

You can like or follow him all you want. Based on my experience with people who have been in really nasty combat situations they don't act like he does. I don't believe a word he says, he's probably never been out of his mother's basement. I think he's a fraud.

velobabe's picture

beware the knowers†

beware those who are quick to censor

they are afraid of what they do not know‡

Postal's picture

That's rather harsh, unless you know him personally. Besides, he's respected enough in the ZH community that Tyler and Co. let him offer guest posts (although after his unjustified personal attack on me, I'm starting to question the wisdom of letting such a loose cannon have such open reign).

I certainly don't question his experience, and--to a small extent--understand the short fuse: Doesn't take much for me to unload, either. You can thank Uncle Sam for one more high-strung vet.

RichardENixon's picture

"You and war chickens like you can keep on believing in some mass resistance all you like;"   This was CB's response to me towards the beginning of this exchange. This is the comment that set me off. Maybe I have a short fuse myself right now. I got wiped out totally in Hurricane Katrina and now it looks like I'm going to be wiped out again by this oil spill. I don't appreciate CB spewing out invective at me referring to me as a "war chicken" when he doesn't know a goddam thing about me and when I was simply trying to figure out where he was coming from in his argument in this thread. That's all I'm going to say on this subject, it's gone on too long.

velobabe's picture

no, i am one of his whores on speed dial, #7

i smell so good

Miles Kendig's picture

The appreciation for that which is worthy of being despised renders the concept of a fuse moot on point.  Once circumstances reach a certain point all pretense is stripped away. This forms the essence of what makes CB's writing irresistible for those of us who know from where he speaks. As he so ably communicated just yesterday, it is the preachers we need to be aware of.

cougar_w's picture

You have conflated two very different things.

"Unrest" is not "revolt". During a period of unrest, it can go as you say. During revolt however the gloves come off and the minority elites are put on the run. They often do escape to favorable regimes but the system they built to feed themselves is usually dismantled, if only for a little while until new lords rise from the ashes to continue the confiscations.

But then you suddenly seem to get it: "You will see graves before you see revolt."

Absolutely yes. No revolt without senseless deaths in the streets first, massacre of innocents, suspension of the rule of law, brutality for the sake of it, etc. And when enough people recognize that they have nothing left to lose and instead might have chance through violence of surviving an additional day or protecting their families, they will rise up. That just how human's do things.

Give to the wolves. Give to the wolves. Give to the ... no now we kill the wolves.

Postal's picture

Geez, no need to bite my head off. Besides, you made my point for me: In the example you cited, the elites kept the masses from discovering they had nothing to lose by revolution, which allowed for their easy removal/disposal.

Despite your personal experiences, go back and study history. Revolutions--mass uprisings, that is--are always caused when the populous has 'nothing to lose': If you're planning to steal my gold and kill me, what do I have to lose by armed resistance?

And for the record, I am not waiting for "mass revolt and civil warfare." I do not advocate such, nor do I expect for such to occur. I was making the observation that in order for it to happen, the sheeple would have to stop being sheep and the elite will not allow it.

dnarby's picture


Anybody remember the civil rights movement here in the US?

I think there's going to be a lot more people behind this reform movement once it gets going.

No need for massive violence, although I expect a bit.

Mako's picture

Watching a financial system collapse slowly piece by piece is entertaining.

"We have met the enemy and he is us"

john_connor's picture

Re: the 5000 Euro cash transaction limit, this type of capital control is coming to America. 

Get your money out NOW.  And by now I mean yesterday.


Rogerwilco's picture

[...] this type of capital control is coming to America.  Get your money out NOW.

Sorry, you're two years late on that recommendation, the door for big, hassle-free transfers closed in 2008. There is always the Papillon method...for somewhat lesser amounts.