In Czech Republic, senate rejects proposal to make paying by cash constitutional right

17 February 2023
Flag of the Czech Republic (photo credit: TheDigitalArtist via pixabay)
Flag of the Czech Republic (photo credit: TheDigitalArtist via pixabay)
The right to [pay by cash] won’t be protected in the Czech Constitution following the Senate's rejection of a proposal on [15 February] to make paying by cash a constitutional right. The move to make cash-only payments a constitutional right was spearheaded by independent Senator Jitka Chalánková who said that many Czechs fear that cashless payments will become mandatory as digitization spreads, according to news server České noviný. She said that a large segment of the Czech population doesn't want having a card or bank identity to become mandatory due to privacy issues and data protection. Others find paying in cash more convenient. Proponents for amending the constitution to protect a consumer's right to hand over cash say that such payments aren't constitutionally protected in any European Union state, and Czechia could be a pioneer. Having the protection on a constitutional level would protect the right from EU-mandated changes. Opponents of the amendment say that a simple change to existing laws would suffice, as far as cash payments are concerned. Senator Jan Holásek said the Law on the Circulation of Banknotes and Coins already requires businesses to accept cash, but it currently lacks penalties for those retailers who do otherwise. The Senate rejected the proposal to amend the Charter of Fundamental Rights saying the constitutional order should only be changed for exceptional cases and that updating the existing law with sanctions for non-compliance would be sufficient.
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