Why if the euro is a common currency are each countries notes identifiable by the serial number?
Was this to prevent a currency chaos in the event of a member state being ordered to stop issuing and that countries money could then be easily avoided?
We have already had rumours of German (X) shopkeepers refusing to accept Greek (Y) notes. Looking through my wallet the spanking new €50's are all Italian (S)
The 11 digit serial number on every note begins with a prefix showing which country issued it. German notes begin with an X, Greek notes start with a Y, Spain's have a V, France a U, Ireland T, Portugal M and Italy S. Belgium is Z, Cyprus G, Luxembourg I, Malta F, Netherlands P, Austria N, Slovenia H, Slovakia E and Finland L.
You can double check the issuer by adding the digits and adding again to arrive at a country code, eg: X50446027856.....(5+0+4+4+6+0+2+7+8+5+6) = 47, (4+7) = 11, (1+1) gives 2, the code number for Germany.