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FRAUD

New €100 and €200 notes go into circulation in Germany

Since Tuesday, Europe's monetary authorities have been printing the two banknotes with new security features.

New €100 and €200 notes go into circulation in Germany
The new 100- and 200-euro notes are being printed as of Tuesday. Photo: DPA

New 100 and 200 bills are supposed to make it more difficult for counterfeiters to do their job.

The issuing of these bills completes the second series of Euro bank notes, the first series which began being issued in 2002, according to the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. The 500 note has not been issued since the end of April.

SEE ALSO: Mixed emotions in Germany as 500-euro note bows out

“The manufacturers of ATMs and cash safes have already been able to borrow the new banknotes for test purposes for the last nine months, so the technical conversion should run smoothly,” assured Johannes Beermann, Chairman of the Bundesbank (German Central Bank).

Last year, six percent of the euro notes in circulation in Germany were 100 notes and one percent were 200 notes, according to the Deutsche Bundesbank.

By far the most frequently counterfeited banknote in Germany has been the the 50 note. A revised version of the orange-brown note was issued in 2017. While the 'state of the art' bill had more security features, Germany's police union remained skeptical that it could still be counterfeited.

SEE ALSO: New €50 note is forgeable, claims German police union

Anyone who immediately hopes for the new notes when withdrawing money in the coming days could, however, be disappointed. The introduction of 2.3 billion revised 100 notes and 700 million €200 banknotes throughout the eurozone will take place gradually.

The old notes are gradually being withdrawn from circulation by the central banks, but first-generation euro banknotes will remain valid.

New security features

Graphic: DPA

The 100 and €200 notes have a “satellite hologram” on the front top right. When tilted, small euro symbols move around the value numeral. There are additional euro symbols in the emerald number.

“These two security features make counterfeiting of the new 100 and €200 banknotes even more difficult,” Beermann recently explained.

The new notes also use security features already found on the twenties and fifties: They also have a “portrait window”. If you hold the glow against the light, the window becomes transparent, showing a portrait of the Greek mythical figure of Europe.

The value “100” or “200” printed as a glossy number on the front changes the colour from emerald green to deep blue when the banknote is tilted.

The basic colours of the notes will not change either. The hundred note is still green, while the two-hundred note keeps its mixture of yellow and brown. The colours are slightly stronger than those of the old banknotes.

The format of the banknotes has also been altered slightly: The €100 and €200 of the new series are just as long as the 50 note. The width of the banknotes, on the other hand, remains the same.

The 500 note, which will no longer be issued, will remain legal tender, however, and will be exchangeable indefinitely.

Vocab

Monetary authorities – (Die) Währungshüter

Released – Herausgegeben

Emerald number – (Die) Smaragdzahl

Imprinted – aufgedruckt

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MONEY

Where in Germany do people have the highest disposable income?

An economic study has shown huge regional differences in income throughout Germany. So which parts of the country have the most to spend each month, and which are feeling the squeeze?

Where in Germany do people have the highest disposable income?

A study by the Economic and Social Sciences Institute (WSI) of the Hans-Böckler foundation reveals stark regional differences in disposable income in Germany. In some cases, households had as much as double the spending money of those in other parts of the country. 

Here’s where people have the most – and least – disposable income each month.

What is disposable income?

The WSI calculated disposable income as the sum of income from wealth and employment, minus social contributions, income taxes, property taxes and other direct benefits or taxes.

What’s left is the income which private households can either spend on consumer goods or save.

The study, which was based on the most recent available national accounts data for 2019, looked at the disposable income of all of the 401 counties, districts and cities across Germany.

Which regions have the highest and lowest disposable incomes?

The study found that the regions with the highest disposable incomes were in the southern states.

Heilbronn in Baden-Württemberg had the highest disposable income of all 401 German counties and independent cities – with an average per capita disposable income of €42,275. The district of Starnberg in Bayern followed in second place with €38,509.

READ ALSO: REVEALED: How much do employees really earn across Germany’s states?

By comparison, per capita incomes in the cities of Gelsenkirchen and Duisburg in North Rhine-Westphalia were less than half as high, at €17,015 and €17,741 respectively. These regions had the lowest disposable income in the country. 

The study also found that, more than thirty years since German reunification, the eastern regions continue to lag behind those in the west in terms of wages.

According to the WSI, the Potsdam-Mittelmark district is the only district in the former east where the disposable per capita income of €24,127 exceeds the national average of €23,706.

Do regional price differences balance things out?

The study also showed that regionally different price levels contribute to a certain levelling out of disposable incomes, as regions with high incomes also tend to have higher rents and other living costs.

“People then have more money in their wallets, but they cannot afford more to the same extent,” WSI scientist Toralf Pusch explained.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: When will Germany raise the minimum wage?

Therefore, incomes in the eastern states, adjusted for purchasing power, are generally somewhat higher than the per capita amounts would suggest.

That could explain why, even after price adjustment, the cities of Gelsenkirchen and Duisburg in western Germany continue to be at the very bottom of the list.

Saxon-Anhalt’s Halle an der Saale, on the other hand, which has an average disposable income of only €18,527, benefits from the lower prices in the east.

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