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ECB withdraws 265,000 fake euro banknotes

The European Central Bank said Wednesday that 265,000 fake euro banknotes were withdrawn from circulation during the first half of the year.

This compared to 300,000 during the first six months of 2006 and 265,000 during the last half of last year, with the bank insisting that the number of counterfeit euro notes was very small. The number of genuine euro banknotes in circulation during the H1 of 2007 averaged 11 billion.

The European Central Bank said that 97% of counterfeits recovered in the H1 of 2007 were in the 13-member eurozone. About 3% came from European Union states that are not euro members and only a very small number from the other parts of the world. The 50-euro-note was the most counterfeited banknote in the H1 of 2007, accounting for around a half of the total counterfeits found in circulation, the eurozone central bank said. (