PM Orbán: Hungarian constitution could guarantee right to use cash

By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

Should pressure against the use of cash rise further, Hungary is willing to consider enshrining the right to use it in its constitution, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Monday.

Responding to a question in parliament by László Toroczkai, leader of the right-wing opposition movement Mi Hazánk (Our Homeland), the Hungarian prime minister dismissed accusations that his government did not care for cash usage.

He noted that the Hungarian government has not allowed the use of cash to be restricted, despite the fact that the banking sector has made many requests in this direction. The government has not accepted and does not recognize any such request.

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“If there is international pressure, then we will resist through constitutional means. This is an issue where we can easily talk to each other,” Orbán told Toroczkai.

He added that legal protection for the use of cash can be solved now, but if, according to Mi Hazánk it is worthwhile to raise it to the constitutional level, the government will not be an obstacle to this, according to Hungarian news outlet Magyar Nemzet.

In response to another question raised by Toroczkai, the prime minister said that “the use of cash at events is being eliminated so that people do not have to pay with bank cards; instead, they (the event organizers) are using their own payment systems.”

The issue of protecting the right to use cash has become a flash point as of late, with the Austria debating the topic of adding the right to cash in the constitution as well. Over half a million Austrians signed a petition calling for such a right to be added to the constitution, with the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) vocally advocating for the government to action on the issue.

“This freedom of choice must continue to exist in the future. Cash is data protection in action. Cash is printed freedom. And another aspect should not remain unmentioned: Without cash, how are children supposed to learn how to handle money and thus how to do business? Money at their fingertips is very important for children. But it is not only important for children, but also for adults in terms of their own spending control,” explained FPÖ finance and budget spokesman Hubert Fuchs last year.

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