Your Euros–The notes not to take home!

Usually around this time of year, during the holiday season, I remind my Ironies Too readers, (where this post first appeared,) of the serial numbers of the Euro notes it is probably best not to take home.

Many believe that the Euro is a single currency, like most other things about the EU, however, that is a complete misrepresentation of the truth! Each Euro Group country issues and therefore guarantees its own euro notes. They can only be told apart, not by differences in design, but only by their serial number, read here. German notes, which at the moment are still probably OK (until Angela Merkel, takes on the entire debt of the rest of the Euro Zone, that is,) begin with an X

Some others, that thoughtful people, such as readers of these pages, may wish to think twice about taking home for spending on a later vacation, are the following:

Z – Belgium
Y – Greece
V – Spain
T – Ireland
S – Italy
N – Austria
M – Portugal
G – Cyprus

Labels: Euro collapse

14 comments for “Your Euros–The notes not to take home!

  1. Robert Edwards
    August 4, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Good Lord! I had no idea. I usually use plastic, denominated in Euros, so seldom have physical notes in my possession.

    A very useful cut-out-and-keep wampum guide…

  2. August 4, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Me neither! The ones in my wallet are all X except one P (Netherlands) so sounds OK but I live in Spain so not sure if this is luck or what…will keep a closer eye on this!

  3. August 4, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Readily exchangeable in all other member nations though, right? Do countries have the legal ability to accept some Euros but refuse notes marked as issued by particular countries? And even if they do is it realistic that a government could stop accepting, say, Greek Euros and expect every note in every transaction to be checked for a Y prefix? Out of interest what happens to Euros printed/minted in one country and spent in another? From what Span Ows says it sounds like they remain in circulation, so even if Greece went back to the Drachma wouldn’t a Greek Euro used in France still be valid since it’s obviously been exchanged for French goods or services? Though if one country has to leave it probably won’t be long before a few more go, each kicking away a leg out from under the single currency as it leaves, and any Euros from anywhere will become novelty bog paper.

    • August 4, 2011 at 5:34 pm

      Readily exchangeable so far is correct now, but for how much longer?

      In an orderly default and the withdrawing of only one country from the Euro, I would imagine there would be a period of grace during which the notes from the future non-euro country could be spent/exchanged.

      As it was never imagined (except in secret, when the individual prefixes were decided for just such a scenario I guess,) such an event as a withdrawal would come about; I know of no publicly available procedures that would be followed. In a disorderly collapse of the system with several countries leaving the Euro Group, anything could happen, hence my advice on this post.

      Regarding your closing comment “any Euros from anywhere will become novelty bog paper” is indeed what the common currency always has been without full monetary and political union as so many economists warned at the outset. What has kept it going so long is mainly the gullibility of the working public and their misplaced confidence in their politicians. 😆

      • August 6, 2011 at 12:13 am

        In an orderly default and the withdrawing of only one country from the Euro, I would imagine there would be a period of grace during which the notes from the future non-euro country could be spent/exchanged.

        Yeah, but that’s why I asked about the practical aspect. Let’s say Greece drops out and the rest of the Euro nations say they’ll accept Greek Euros only for X weeks before no longer accepting them as legal tender. Is it actually enforceable? How many millions of cash transactions are carried out daily in the Euro zone minus Greece? Is it practical to expect every single one to be checked for the wrong prefix? Even if it is what about Greek notes that are already in circulation in the rest of the Eurozone? Having been exchanged for goods or services already they’re now in those local economies, so wouldn’t they either have to continue to be accepted as legal tender or at least in exchange for local notes at the banks? If so then surely all those Euros still in Greece could theoretically still be used. And what about all the non-Greek Euros circulating in Greece? 😯

        Gawd, what a mess! Though I suppose this is what they should have expected when they tried to create a monetary union where there wasn’t yet a political union and backing it with little but wishful thinking and a bunch os square pegs jammed clumsily into round holes.

  4. August 4, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    I have no real reason to doubt your inclusion of Austria in the list – just wondering what the reasoning was behind doing so? It is, at least, a pretty well-run country…

  5. nemesis
    August 5, 2011 at 1:27 am

    Swapped my spare Euros for Swiss Francs last year. Smug or what!

  6. August 5, 2011 at 5:52 am

    Great timing! 😀

  7. meltemian
    August 5, 2011 at 7:34 am

    Well I’m in Greece and my current notes are:-
    Two ‘V’s (ooo-er)
    One ‘M’ (even worse)
    …and a ‘U’ – where does that come from?

    • August 5, 2011 at 10:31 am

      ‘U’ is France

      • meltemian
        August 5, 2011 at 1:40 pm

        Thank you, that one’s OK then, shame it’s only a €10 note.

    • nisakiman
      August 5, 2011 at 9:17 pm

      Hmm. Not sure how this will work. I live in Greece, just checked a couple of 50s I got out the ATM yesterday. One is V (Spain) and the other is E (Slovakia). Can’t see how you could have a single currency with differing values. Particularly given that Greece is a tourist destination, so will have hundreds of thousands of non-Greek issue notes in circulation.

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