The Ministry of Finance has asked whether Queen Máxima wants to say less about the arrival of a digital euro. That writes the AD. The newspaper quotes sources within the ministry who point out that every time the queen says something about the subject, there are negative reactions: “After corona, the digital euro is the new wappie magnet”, the AD quotes an official.
The ministry tells NOS that it is customary for official contact to be made and that no announcements are made about the content of that contact. A spokesperson does say that the Queen has “never spoken out about the desirability of introducing a digital euro”.
‘Best of both worlds’
At the IMF, among others, Máxima shared her enthusiasm about digital money from central banks, or central bank digital currency (CBDC) last year. “CBDCs can offer the best of both worlds,” said Máxima. “They encourage businesses to reduce costs and broaden accessibility.”
According to the ministry, the queen indicated the advantages and disadvantages of digital bank money and advocated that the consequences should be properly mapped out. “This is fully in line with the government’s position,” says the spokesperson.
Nevertheless, a month later, before the European Parliament, she emphatically discussed the introduction of the digital euro. “Governments can use the digital euro to provide financial support to low-income people,” she said.
The speeches led, among other things, to questions (.pdf) from the Forum for Democracy and the SP. The parties believe that Máxima promotes a system in which governments gain insight into everything that citizens buy.
Rabobank economist Wim Boonstra says that there was nothing wrong with Máxima’s speech at the IMF, if you look at her plea from a global perspective. “Digital currencies can promote inclusion, for example for people who do not have access to a bank account. That is hardly an issue in Europe. It was a general story as an ambassador against poverty and for inclusion.”
Rens van Tilburg, director of think tank Sustainable Finance Lab, is also surprised that the queen would have been approached by the ministry. “The Queen is doing good work all over the world to make financial services more available to poorer people. The fact that she is looking for opportunities and also pointing to digital money is a logical approach.”
According to him, criticism mainly comes from people who distrust the government. “The unrest surrounding the digital euro is mainly about privacy. That needs to be looked at carefully. Only privacy is already at stake now that less and less is being paid with cash and more through accounts of commercial banks. Payments are already being tracked there.”
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