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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Withdrawing money may sometimes be mandatory

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You cannot pay every bill in cash. Accepting cash is mandatory in the eurozone. But if there is a good reason in the public interest, the government may in certain cases impose cashless payments.

This is the opinion of the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice in a case concerning license fees in Germany.

Two German citizens wanted to pay their viewing and listening fees to the Hessischer Rundfunk in cash. This was refused by this public broadcaster, relying on its payment terms.

Advice
The case was brought before a German court that sought advice from the Court. That has yet to make a final judgment. The advice of the advocate general is not always followed.

According to the high advisor, Member States can establish legal exceptions for the government or companies to accept banknotes in the public interest when making payments, but those exceptions should be proportionate.

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