Germany: Is it possible to pay for TV and radio broadcasting in cash

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In a dispute over cash payments for broadcasting in Germany, a competent expert of the European Court of Justice made it clear that, as a rule, there is an obligation to accept bills and coins. It can be limited in the public interest only in exceptional cases – Giovanni Pitrusella, Advocate General of the European Court of Justice, stated in his opinion of September 29, 2020.

The decision (cases C-422/19 and C-423/19) concerned two German citizens who wanted to pay Hessischer Rundfunk for radio and television broadcasting in cash. The broadcasting charter excludes this possibility. A legal dispute is currently pending before the Federal Administrative Court, which has sought advice from the EU high judges. Among other things, people want to know if a government agency should accept cash. “Mostly yes,” Attorney General Pitrusella said in September 2020.

He also pointed out the great importance of cash for people who do not have access to financial services and can only pay in coins and bills: “Money is an element of social inclusion.” Although the members of the European Court are not bound by the recommendations of their experts, they often follow them. The newspaper will inform its readers about the final decision.

Alex Gradov

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