The number of fake Euro banknotes seized in the second half of 2009 rose by eight percent from the first half of the year while the number of counterfeit Euro coins removed from circulation has fallen, the European Central Bank
have individually announced today.
"In the second half of 2009 a total of 447,000 counterfeit Euro banknotes were withdrawn from circulation
", an ECB statement
While this rise was slower than in the first half of last year, the central bank has reported a 17% jump in the number of seized counterfeit notes.
"The proportion of counterfeits is still very low
", the statement continues reminding that roughly 12.8 billion genuine banknotes are still in circulation throughout the Eurozone
As is often the case, the banknotes of mid-level value were the most often seized, with the 20 Euro (£15) notes representing 47% of the total.
Almost all of those counterfeit operations uncovered (97%) comprised of 20, 50, and 100 Euro denominations, and more than 98% of all counterfeit notes were found within the 16-member Eurozone.
Meanwhile, the second consecutive decrease in the number of counterfeit coins seized - down 12% compared with the year before - confirms, according to the Commission
, that "the actions to render Euro coins safer for users
" are effective.
The Commission has reaffirmed its belief that counterfeit Euro coins are "not a significant cause of concern for the public
", but say that although the decreases are encouraging "there is no room for complacency and efforts to remove counterfeits from circulation should be maintained and intensified
Indeed, the overall number is very small by comparison with the total number of around 15 billion genuine Euro coins put into circulation of the three highest denominations, with a resulting ratio of 1:89,000 - in other words for one counterfeit coin for every 89,000 genuine.
A Commission proposal is in fact currently being discussed in Parliament
which further aims to improve the fight against coin counterfeiting.