President Ilves finds cashless society best way to protect democracy ({{commentsTotal}})

Speaking at the Open Estonia Foundation's XXI Open Society Forum on Thursday, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves found that a cashless society would be the best solution for the protection of democracy.

Ilves brought up the idea at Thursday's XXI Open Society Forum: "Russia in Europe: What Does the Future Hold?" taking place at the Nordic Hotel Forum in Tallinn, where he noted that among the top methods employed by the soft power approach to international relations, which aims to "attract and co-opt" rather than coerce, was untraceable cash.

Ilves noted that corruption, in which cash plays a key role, flourishes in countries where democracy is weak. Thus the Estonian head of state found that, in getting rid of cash altogether, democracy could be strengthened considerably. In his opinion, technology would be ready to handle such a switch.

In his opinion, such a change would also prevent a situation in which a politician who lost elections in Germany would find work at Gazprom practically the following day.

Ilves reminded listeners that 500-euro notes are not being removed from circulation for no reason — it was utilized by a great number of criminals.

The European Central Bank decided at a meeting in Frankfurt earlier this year to permanently stop issuing 500-euro notes in 2018, when 200- and 100-euro notes will be introduced instead.

Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla

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