Wanted: the new 5 euro (preferably alive)

Remember the new 5 euro banknote (and my first attempt to get one)? The one that was introduced into the eurozone 2 May 2013? I still haven't been able to get one through the usual channels like banks and shops. But it seems I'm not the only one: I've seen several articles on this issue. Just this weekend I was in Belgium and since I'd read that ATM machines in Belgium issue 5 euro notes (in contrast to the Netherlands where they only issue a minimum of 10 euro notes), I tried my luck at several machines. No luck there: only 20 euro banknotes. I then asked in numerous shops and at gas pumps if they happened to have the new note. The reactions I got were priceless: we also haven't seen the note, we have no idea what it looks like etc.

The best reaction however (and the one which pointed out a likely explanation for this lack of notes at shops) I got at the gas pump in my own neighborhood. The employee said they almost had a new 5 euro the day before but they refused to accept it because the couterfeit detection devices didn't recognize it as a valid banknote. All our money is based on trust because it has no intrinsic value. Trust that the piece of 'paper' you're holding is worth 5 euro. But if the new 5 euro is rejected everywhere it's value is basically 0 euro.

I wonder what that will do to the already very shaken confidence in the euro system?

© European Central Bank
Steven Tuesday 14 May 2013 at 08:34 am | | news
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