Trichet torpedoes hopes for 30 euro note

October 23, 2009

The European Central Bank’s President, Jean-Claude Trichet, has torpedoed a request for a new 30 euro banknote, backing up the rejection with ice-cold historical and mathematical reasoning.

European Parliament member and former Irish deputy finance minister Jim Higgins had asked Sharon Bowles, chairwoman of the parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, whether a 30 euro note could be introduced.

She passed the question on to Trichet, but instead of dismissing the question out of hand, the ECB boss answered the question with a typically analytical approach.

“The ECB’s predecessor decided on a sequence of 1:2:5 for the seven euro banknote denominations, 10 and 100; 20 and 200; and 5, 50 and 500,” Trichet wrote to Higgins.

“This sequence is in line with the common denominational split of most of the world’s currencies and also corresponds to the sequence of the euro coins.”

He even went on to give examples of more unusual currency patterns, although by overlooking that Tunisia has a 30 dinar note, he may have exposed a hole in his knowledge.

“Some countries use or have used a sequence of 1:2.5:5. This was the case in the Netherlands in the pre-euro days of the guilder. However, to our knowledge, no country uses 3:30:300, etc. as a denominational sequence.”

“The ECB’s approach towards the denominational split of the euro banknotes has not changed. The ECB has thus not considered issuing a 30 euro banknote,” he concluded.

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