“You can try as hard as you want, but the the new €5 banknote introduced on May 2 will not be accepted by vending machines”, reveals La Repubblica. The Italian daily’s reporters tried using the new “Europa series” banknotes in machines used to purchase tickets, consumer goods and other items in ten Italian cities, and discovered that the vast majority were unable to tell them from false money.

The new banknotes, explains La Repubblica, differ from the old ones not only for the look, but also for the optic reading stripe. As a result, over 100,000 of Italy’s machines will need to have their software updated, and owners will face a cost of 100 to 500 euros for each of them. However, many old models are obsolete and will have to be substituted with new ones, at a cost of up to €6,000 each.

To make thing worse, as the chairman of tobacco retailers association told the daily,

the new banknotes are not manufactured in a single facility, so the upgrade is being delayed to avoid small differences making them unreadable anyway. And when new €10 and €20 banknotes will be introduced, we will need to start over again.

But the banknotes chaos is minimal if compared to what would happen if the restyling was extended to brass, adds the chairman :

Two and a half million machines work with coins only. If they were to change, that would be the real disaster.