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Business

Number of Fake Euro Coins Skyrockets

The European Union reported it found nearly 75,000 counterfeit euro coins in 2004, three times the number found in 2003. Olivier Louis, a technical expert from the EU's anti-fraud office, told a news conference that 50 euro cent coins were even faked for use in developing countries. However, the number of fake coins is still minuscule compared to the 55 billion genuine coins in circulation. Germany's VDAI vending machine industry group said more than twice as many counterfeit euro coins were now being found as counterfeit pfennig and deutschmark coins previously and suggested the EU might want to reconsider its policy allowing national designs on one side of the coins. Christian Trenner, head of the VDAI, noted there were already 120 different euro coins in the 12 euro zone nations and this could climb to 300 in the next 10 years as the EU's 10 new member states join the common currency area.