October 12, 2020
“A Digital Euro must empower citizens not banks” – Chris MacManus MEP

“A Digital Euro must empower citizens not banks” –  Chris MacManus MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus, a member of the EU Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, has said any move by the ECB to launch a “digital euro” must be done to empower citizens and not the banks. 

Speaking after quizzing ECB Executive Board Member Fabio Panetta, MacManus said:

“The ECB seems determined to press ahead with the launch of the “Digital Euro” in the coming years. For me, if this is to happen, it must be done in a way that empowers citizens and not the banks. This must be a democratic step forward in how our economy works, with the power of the banks over workers and families diminished. This should be the yardstick by which we measure whether a digital euro is desirable.”

“We are all concerned with the threat of cryptocurrencies. It is not just a matter of consumer protection or even of criminality but a very real threat to the tax base and the stability of the economy. We know the extent to which criminality and speculation make up so much of the crypto activity and we also know how unequal the crypto economy is. Bitcoin, for example, is said to be as unequal as North Korea.”

“It’s my hope though that if the ECB goes with this approach that it does so for a better reason than trying to keep up with Facebook or Bitcoin or the next so-called stablecoin.”

The Midlands Northwest MEP concluded, “Currently the ECB is carrying out a public review of its policy. It would be nice to think that there will be some thinking put into how a digital euro would impact the Eurozone of the future that informs this review. I will be pushing the ECB to think about the transformative potential of a digital currency rather than just the defensive need to protect legitimate currencies.” ENDS

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