BRUSSELS (LifeSiteNews) — A Dutch Member of the European Parliament has insisted that laws ensure a digital euro does not lead to Canada’s “social credit system.”
During an April 19 debate in Brussels, Dutch MEP Marcel de Graaff argued that introducing the digital euro must not infringe on citizens’ freedoms or lead to the freezing of bank accounts, as was done in Canada during the 2022 Freedom Convoy.
In Brussels, Dutch MEP @MJRLdeGraaff recently compared PM @JustinTrudeau's decision to freeze bank accounts of Freedom Convoy protesters critical of his government last year to a China-style "social credit system."
What happened to the reputation of this once great country? pic.twitter.com/7t7162h57V
— Cosmin Dzsurdzsa 🇷🇴 (@cosminDZS) May 9, 2023
“Citizens’ greatest concern is that in the future the government will be able to limit what citizens spend their money on, such as meat products and fuels,” de Graaff said.
“Or that we get a form of a social credit system like in Canada, where your account is blocked if you are critical of the government,” he added, referring the Trudeau government’s decision to freeze the bank accounts of Canadians who supported the 2022 Freedom Convoy.
“That is why the digital euro must meet the following requirements: purchases must not be traceable to the product, the balance must also be immediately withdrawable as cash, and the balance must not be programmable,” de Graaff continued. “This must be laid down in law.”
While digital currency has been considered a possibility for some time, both Canada and Europe are now moving to make electronic money a reality.
In March, the E.U. proposed new regulations to force the acceptance of centralized digital euro. However, exactly how the system will work is still unknown.
Additionally, 20 out of 27 E.U. member states have adopted the digital euro, giving it the same value as cash. This decision may force businesses to accept a future European Central Bank (ECB) digital currency.
Similarly, the Bank of Canada, Canada’s central banking organization, has moved forward in implementing digital currency, asking for public feedback on creation of “digital dollar” in a survey this month. It is already aware that some people will not be able to participate in a cashless society.
“People tend to use cash less often these days: Most payments are already digital, such as using debit or credit cards. If this trend continues, there may come a time when cash is not widely accepted in day-to-day transactions, which could exclude many Canadians from the economy,” the Bank said.
According to Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Rogers, the Bank of Canada is “ready for whatever the future holds,” and that is why it wants to “hear from Canadians about what they value most in the design of a digital dollar.”
“This will help us make design choices and ensure that it is secure, reliable and meets the needs of Canadians,” she added.
Last week, LifeSiteNews reported that from 2024 the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will no longer allow citizens to pay tax debts over $10,000 by check, and will mandate payment via electronic means under a new rule that is part of a federal omnibus budget bill likely to become law soon.
While Canadian banks thus far have not been hit with collapse like some banks in the United States in recent months, experts have warned that a financial crisis could spell the acceleration of the introduction of central bank digital currencies.
As noted in recent report from LifeSiteNews, some also believe that central bank digital currencies are a “control tool” by the government.
De Graaff’s label of Canada’s economic policies as a “social credit system” is not unreasonable, as Canadians witnessed the dangers of an overreach of government power during the 2022 Freedom Convoy when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act, giving federal government the ability to freeze the funds of those suspected of being involved in the protest.
During this time, many Canadians who donated to the Convoy had their bank accounts frozen and were unable to buy necessities, including groceries.
Trudeau’s use of the Emergencies Act was met with widespread disapproval by many public figures and institutions. Immediately after the act was invoked, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) condemned Trudeau for granting himself emergency powers, and shortly thereafter announced they would be taking legal action against the federal government.
In March, LifeSiteNews highlighted a new report revealing that some of the Freedom Convoy supporters who were placed on a federal banking blacklist had their information shared with foreign banks, including some in China, via email with the full blessing of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.