Final Word from Thursday, December 22, 2016

The truck attack in Berlin didn't require a lot of money to organize, but that didn't stop the European Commission from taking advantage of the situation yesterday to push for a planned tightening of cash-control regulations. Existing regulations work well, the Commission said, but terrorists are circumventing them by sending cash and gold in the mail. Prepaid cards are also used for nefarious purposes. The Commission now wants gold, prepaid payment cards, bearer bonds and bearer shares to be considered cash, subject to the €10,000 reporting requirement if taken in or out of the EU. Cross-border enforcement of freezing and confiscation orders will also be improved to eliminate loopholes. As is always the case when Big Brother flexes his muscles, the little guys with no political pull will be the ones who suffer the most. But if and when the EU decides after all these years to crack down on the criminal elite, the statutes will already be on the books. [Czech Republic EU currency]

Glossary of difficult words

nefarious - wicked, evil or criminal;

bearer - payable to the possessor;

(political) pull - ability to exercise influence;

to crack down - to take severe measures against;

statute - a written law by a legislative body.

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