8 March 2004
BRUSSELS – An increasing number of Belgian shopkeepers are refusing to accept 100, 200 and 500 euro banknotes, one of the country’s main small business lobbies said on Monday.
According to the Flemish union of independent entrepreneurs (Unizo), shopkeepers are worried that high denomination notes could be forgeries.
Unizo says it wants to meet with the Belgian government to discuss the possibility of setting up a compensation fund for shopkeepers who unwittingly fall victim to the forgers.
It says that fake large denomination banknotes are now so well made that they can only be detected by one particular type of machine.
Unizo says one way to tackle the problem could be to encourage more people to pay for goods using credit or debit cards. But it points out that at present shopkeepers have to pay a small charge for electronic payments.
The organisation has also called on the government and the European Central Bank to ensure that euro notes are harder to forge in the future.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Belgian news