The European Central Bank has officially presented a new 10-euro bank note with enhanced security features to curb counterfeiting. The central bank said the new version would be circulated as of autumn this year.
ECB Director Yves Mersch (pictured) said Monday the new 10-euro bank note had a number of additional security features, including more sophisticated holograms and watermarks. He said the notes would be circulated as of September 23 this year.
"The new banknotes [ just as the new 5-euro note already in circulation] are not only more secure, but there genuineness is much easier to check," German central bank chief Carl-Ludwig Thiele commented.
The ECB said new versions of older euro bank notes would continue to emerge in a bid to curb counterfeiting activities by criminals.
Fake bills on the rise
It pointed out that the number of counterfeit euro notes withdrawn from circulation in the second half of 2013 rose by 11.4 percent from the first six month of the year, totaling 353,000 and including all denominations.
It was the highest level since late 2010, but the central bank hastened to add that overall counterfeiting levels were still rather low in percentage terms, given the 15 billion bank notes in circulation in the 18-member single-currency bloc.
The ECB said while 10-euro notes had certainly also been targeted by criminals, the 20 and 50-euro notes remained counterfeiters' favorites, accounting for more than three quarters of fake bills.
hg/hc (Reuters, dpa)