Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2002-01-16-Speech-3-129"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, the largely successful introduction of the euro notes and coins proves one thing and one thing alone: that the people of Europe are highly pragmatic. The markets, which always have the choice, appear to be much less enthusiastic. In any case, I believe that the people will use price levels as the true factor that determines whether or not they will adopt the Euroland currency. However, this currency, which does not belong to any one State, is now posing new problems. Shopkeepers have already had to carry out, free of charge, the work of the banks during the introduction of the euro. It is conceivable that, during this period, shopkeepers had the same interest as consumers in doing this. But now the problem of counterfeiting has surfaced. Forged notes are already at large and it is easy to envisage the different currencies of north and south Euroland intermingling this summer. For example, the EUR 200 and EUR 500 notes, which were not printed in France and in the countries of southern Europe, will reach us, which is in fact already happening with notes of German origin. Next summer, these notes will be everywhere. Obviously, shopkeepers are unable to identify potential forgeries which are worth, if you will forgive me for saying so, more than 3 500 of our poor old francs, in other words, half the minimum wage in France. The Commission will be responsible for compensating the victims and those misled by forged euro, since no State can be. But will the European citizens and the shopkeepers, who accept forged currency by mistake and because they are unable to tell the difference, be compensated by Member States or by the European Central Bank?"@en1

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