The Polish right-wing Confederation party is attempting to copy the solution adopted by Slovakia to protect cash transactions, which are seen as essential for preserving liberty due to the looming threat of digital-only transactions. Confederation is now proposing to enshrine cash transactions in Poland’s constitution, which is one of the four main parts of the platform on which the party is contesting this fall’s parliamentary elections. The other three are lower taxes, making national insurance voluntary for entrepreneurs, and a 30 percent reduction in the cost of home building.
Krzysztof Bosak, one of the two leaders of the party, told portal Interia.pl that the right to cash transactions is a demand that has traditionally been associated with the right for many years and only now has gotten noticed.
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Bosak’s case for the right to cash is focused on the need for personal freedom. He says that giving the state the right to control all payments is bound to hit those with politically incorrect views. The evidence for this comes from instances when banks have shut down accounts of people and groups who were alleged to be a security threat.
“The elimination of fundraising in cash gives allows the state to shut down efforts for causes the government may dislike,” says Bosak.
The case of political leader, activist and GB News commentator Nigel Farage shows how profound the threat is. Farage stated that not only was his bank account shut down, but that over eight banks have now refused to allow him to open an account with them.
Another Confederation leader, Sławomir Mentzen, said in a video posted to social media that if every payment has to be cleared through banks, then the banks gain information about people’s views and habits. Canadians saw this firsthand when those who participated in protests against the government discovered they lost access to their own money because the government had shut down their bank accounts.
Confederation is convinced that the right to cash transactions will be a hot electoral topic, especially after the pandemic period, which saw restrictions placed on cash payments. These restrictions have now been lifted, but the risk that they may return exists, argues the party. The party leaders say that banks and big tech companies “are lobbying for restricting cash payments since electronic transactions provide useful data to both.”
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Confederation points to Slovakia as an example of how political consensus can be built around the issue. The Slovakian parliament there adopted the right to cash transactions by a large majority.
However, other countries are also pushing forward with constitutional amendments to protect cash payments, most notably Austria in Western Europe, where 530,000 people signed a referendum to add cash payment protection to the country’s constitution. The conservative Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) is pushing for the amendment to be enacted; however, they claim the establishment parties are blocking such a right from being added to the constitution despite the majority of Austrians backing it.