Wednesday, July 08, 2009

An Austrian coin trick

Here's a little story from Spiegel online

"The object of desire is 37 millimetres in diameter and made of .999 fine silver. On one side, the coin shows an organ, its country of origin ("The Republic of Austria") and its face value: €1.50 ($2.12)."

But all is not as it seems.

"As a means of payment with a value of €1.50, the coin can be used to buy a beer. But nobody in his right mind will take it to the pub in the first place because the exclusive silver piece is worth -- depending on the price of silver --somewhere between €11 ($16) and €14 ($20), and costs that much at the teller's window."

And the point is this:

A person travelling from Austria to Germany is allowed to bring €10,000 ($14,000) into the country without having to declare it at customs. So that person can bring more than 6,000 Philharmonic coins over the border and in doing so, bring home, with each trip, more than €110,000 ($156,000) of his hidden Austrian treasure.

Customs officers suspicious about coins can forward these concerns. But they can only confiscate the silver pieces if they exceed the face value of €10,000 ($14,000).

Meanwhile, the Austrian Mint can hardly keep up. "


It seems odd that the German government feels so powerless. In any case, it's abusive of honest taxpayers, and it needs to be stopped.

2 Comments:

Blogger semmitsemértő said...

The story seems unreal for me. Since Schengen there are no border and consequently no customs control between Austria and Germany. You are not able at all to report whatever amount you are carrying as there is noone there. No wonder the EU regulates only if cash or monetary instruments are shipped out or into the Eu. And why actually is this a problem? Remember how Jews needed to smuggle diamonds to start a new life during WWII. And of course it was illegal also at that time. Punishable by a long jail sentence. Government controls can always be justified.

6:50 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The one thing that needs to be stopped is Government making mess. The same is true for GOLD Amerian Eagles. Each worth over 1000 USD, but face value is 50usd. And you know what? 50 dollars used to be worth 1 ounce of gold! 30 years ago. But since then FED printed so much money and there was so much inflation that even metals they use for coins are worth more than the nominal value. Copper from 1 sent coin is worth 3 cents!!! Am I going to pay tax on this??? NO WAY! I'm not a money printer robbing its citizens through inflation. I'm just trying to protect myslef from these thieves and their printing machines. And you say Government needs to stop this??? I tell you what, it did top it once in 30s by maiing gold ownership illegal. Band of thieves and crooks and you're like : "if you protect yourself from government irresponsibility, then government should tax and prosecute you".

You are an IDIOT OF A CENTURY!

1:40 pm  

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