First euro forgery discovered

The first counterfeit euro note found in Greece has been confiscated from an elderly shopkeeper who used it in a supermarket last week. Reports yesterday said 72-year-old Andreas Christopoulos was arrested on Friday afternoon after handing the forged 50-euro banknote to a cashier at a supermarket in Aegaleo, western Athens. It turned out to be a simple color photocopy of the real 50-euro note. Police initially suspected that Christopoulos might be involved in a forgery ring, as they found strange the fact that, although he lives in the central district of Ambelokipi, he went shopping at the Metro supermarket in Aegaleo. But on Saturday a court of first instance found the shopkeeper innocent of intentionally using a forged banknote. Police have alerted consumers to the danger of counterfeiters releasing large quantities of forged 10, 20 and 50-euro notes, as these are the most frequently used in everyday transactions.Large quantities of forged drachmas are in circulation. Meanwhile, Cyprus Airways, which had pulled out of the bidding for Olympic last year, said yesterday that it was interested in expanding into the Greek market and working in cooperation with other companies on Greece’s domestic routes, the airline’s chairman, Haris Loizides said.