Thursday, August 03, 2006

Sound As a Euro

A monetary phenomenon inflates in Europe:

After the introduction of the euro in 12 countries on 1 January 2002, police detected a fall in the amount of counterfeit notes and coins in circulation in euroland. The notes were claimed to be the most advanced in the world, incorporating anti-faking devices from holograms to special inks.

Now Europe's counterfeiters - and some elsewhere in the world, including Colombia - appear to have overcome the problems. A determined faker can buy a machine which reproduces the holograms in euro notes for €50,000 (£34,000) - which would be covered by a print run of a few minutes.

The amount of counterfeit currency found in the 12 euroland countries is 600,000 notes a year - about the same as before the single currency was introduced. There has been an even sharper rise in recent months of fake euro coins.

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