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ECB Deep Freeze on 500-Euro Note Risks German Cold Shoulder

  • Officials to discuss issuance at Governing Council on May 4
  • Concerns on crime meet German worries over abolition of cash
Crumpled 500 euro banknote.
Photographer: Ulrich Baumgarten via Getty Images
Updated on

When European Central Bank policy makers discuss the fate of the 500-euro note this week, they may want to consider the case of Fabio Rizzi.

After the local politician in the Italian region of Lombardy was arrested on corruption charges in February, police found more than 17,000 euros ($19,500) including 500- and 200-euro bank notes stashed in his home, according to the arrest warrant. Some of the cash had been hidden in Rizzi’s freezer, press reports confirmed by his lawyer Monica Alberti said.