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Scrap the criminals' favourite €500 note, say Labour MPs

Monday 28 January 2013


The €500 note should be scrapped because it is mainly used by criminals, Labour politicians say in Monday’s Telegraaf.

They want finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem to lobby the central European bank to take the notes out of circulaton.

‘The €500 note threatens to become an international drugs currency,’ Labour MP Henk Nijboer told the paper. ‘They will soon be using it more often in South America than in Europe… money which no-one uses to pay for anything is not proper currency.’

The Telegraaf points out that the US and Canada have taken high denomination notes out of circulation and that British money exchange offices no longer accept €500 notes after research showed 90% were used by criminals.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Makes sense. In reality you can't even get a shop to accept a 100 euro note.

By Nika | 28 January 2013 10:48 AM

Fixed: "money which no-one ACCEPTS for anything is not proper currency." I once brought a 500e note from Finland where it is in normal circulation and I couldn't do anything with it in Netherlands, no one wanted to accept it, even as payment for 50e sneakers. Even in banks they didn't want to split it for me. This is plainly not fair, it is valid money, how can this be legal not to accept it. Eventually GWB Travelers exchange splited it for 1 or 2 %. In Italy retailers are also not very happy to accept 500e, but at least they split it in the banks for nothing.

By Andrey | 28 January 2013 11:59 AM

Wow! I never thought of that...but it is spot-on. Alas, a politician with a brain!!

By Kevin L. | 28 January 2013 12:31 PM

Why do we need a five hundred euro note?
If you have that much to pay surely it's better to pin or use your credit card!

By Donaugh | 28 January 2013 2:27 PM

Andrey has the point, no one accepts that banknote, that's why people are not able to use it.

By commenter | 28 January 2013 3:11 PM

Yet another attack on our freedom.

By Roger Thalkaldy | 28 January 2013 3:41 PM

I have never seen a 500 euro note and I never use notes greater than 50 euro. I know turists usually travel with 100 and 200 euro notes (but they could use cards and travelers checks as well). I would scrap almost all notes forcing everyone to use their cards or small change. Cash is for the mob.

By JF | 28 January 2013 4:45 PM

Never even seen a €100 note, never mind a €500 one!

By woods | 28 January 2013 4:58 PM

Much easier to track us if we dont use cash. Just another big brother step using the excuse of the 'war on drugs!!'.

By Nick Southfield | 28 January 2013 5:33 PM

@ Donaugh,

Thats because the criminals need to limit the 'quantity of notes' they need to stash in their houses (since the profits in anti-social activities like drug trafficking are in huge
proportions and they cannot stash this money in a bank account for the very same reason - cause it's 'black money'). E.g.:- 1 million in 500 EUR notes is far less in quantity than
1 million in 50 EUR notes.

Only a person having 'white' money can use the PIN option.

By V | 28 January 2013 5:43 PM

So not fake or covered in cocaine, but just 'used by criminals'? Try stopping the criminal activity rather than limited the activities of normal law-abiding people! I'm moving back towards using cash rather than Pin. I think there's no chance of having your card skimmed with cash.

By newjustine | 28 January 2013 5:56 PM

@Andrey: a bank is obliged to accept a deposit with a € 500 note.

This being said, I agree € 200 and € 500 banknotes should be scrapped.

By A.L. | 28 January 2013 7:15 PM

I have a hard enough time cashing a fifty euro note when I'm visiting Europe.

By Sean | 28 January 2013 9:21 PM

For JF and A.L.: there is no euro 200 note--try 250. Btw cutting the 500 note will neither hinder nor stop crime.

By Puck | 29 January 2013 9:28 AM

@ v, that was my point exactly!
Sa for Nick et al it seems there are always those who regard any move by government as an attack on their freedom.

By Donaugh | 29 January 2013 10:46 AM

@ Donaugh,

Agree! I bet there is not a single salaried person who would use a 500 EUR note in a shop instead of using PIN unless the money has been made in a shady way.

@ Newjustine,
And it's less likely to have a card skimmed in a shop which accepts a 500EUR note cause that would mean the shops sells something 'premium' .. which greatly increases the likeliness of the skimmer getting caught. (Card skimming is most likely to happen in low lit areas near train stations and public places and not in high end shops).

By V | 29 January 2013 1:09 PM

@Puck: I'm absolutely sure you are wrong. The Euro banknotes are 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500.

I have handled 200 banknotes 3 or 4 times last years, oddly enough when helping newly arrived students who arrived with a small stash of Euros bought on their home countries and couldn't spend them anywhere, so that I'd give them 50 bills and deposit the 200 bills on my account.

By A.L. | 29 January 2013 3:55 PM


Are you sure about 250? :) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euro_banknotes#Specification

By Andrii | 29 January 2013 4:34 PM

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