During the first semester of this year, 251,000 counterfeit euro banknotes were withdrawn from circulation, 4.2% less than in the second semester of 2018, the European Central Bank (ECB) said on Friday.
Over 80% of the false notes were in denominations of 20 and 50 euros.
“The likelihood of receiving a counterfeit is very small indeed as the number of counterfeits remains very low compared with the number of genuine banknotes in circulation,” the ECB stressed in a press release.
There are now over 22 billion Euro banknotes in circulation, representing a total value of about 1,200 billion euros.
Most of the counterfeits were in denominations of 50 euros (54.2%), followed by 20-euro bills (27.9%) and 100-euro ones (10.4%).
Some 97.2% of the counterfeits were seized in Euro-zone countries. The other false banknotes came from EU member States outside the Euro-zone (2.1%) and from other parts of the world (0.7%)