Cash Must be King, Giorgia Meloni Tells Shoppers
By Tom Kington, Rome
Italy is to use more cash and fewer credit cards, bucking a global trend towards electronic currency, after Giorgia Meloni, the prime minister, dismissed card payments as “private money”.
Meloni, who was elected in September, is finalising her first budget, which is due to include a rule allowing shopkeepers and businesses to refuse cards and demand cash for payments up to €60. The rule would raise the current limit of €30 and includes permission to sell and buy goods worth up to €5,000 in cash, up from €1,000.
Meloni has an unusual justification for supporting banknotes over plastic. She told parliament: “The only legal currency in Italy and Europe is the paper notes issued by the European Central Bank. Electronic money is not legal currency.