Just a matter of time before forgers crack the euro protection.

Two of Europe's biggest chip developers may be working with the European Central Bank (ECB) to include tiny radio transceivers in high-value euro banknotes and Balearic bank chiefs yesterday asked the public to only accept euro notes obtained from banks or trustworthy stores. Sa Nostra bank's security chief José Soto, issued the advice yesterday, adding that consumers should also get used to the feel of the new notes once they are in circulation. Soto said that the bank's attention has been drawn to people offering to carry out private peseta/euro transactions already, but warned that euro notes have yet to come in to circulation and until January 1 will not be a recognised legal tender. In short, Soto's advice to us all is not to accept euro notes before January 1 and to only obtain the new notes and coins from banks. Soto said that the euro notes will be easy to identify by touch because they are made of a cotton-based product and the paper is very resistant. Sa Nostra's security chief explained that careful steps have been taken in order to make the new notes extremely difficult, hopefully, impossible to falsify. Sa Nostra also announced yesterday that six of its branches will be open on January 1 between the hours of 11am and 2pm so that consumers can start getting their hands on the new currency. From midnight December 31, automatic cash machines will be dispensing 10 and 20 euro notes.


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