World Coins

Euro residents offering views on future of small denomination coins

Users of the euro currency are being asked to comment on eliminating the two smallest denominations of circulating coins, which would leave the 5-cent coin as the smallest in circulation.

Images copyright catiamadio |

Some 342 million residents of the eurozone may soon be saying arrivederci, adios, or auf wiedersehen to the two smallest denominations of coins in the euro currency.

The European Commission on Sept. 28 began soliciting resident feedback at its website, noting, “EU rules on euro coins state that the EU institutions should periodically examine the use of different denominations of euro coins in terms of costs and public acceptability.”

The Commission continued, at the feedback page on its website, “This assessment will explore whether to introduce a rule to round cash payments to the nearest 5 cents. This could lead to 1- and 2-cent coins being phased out.”

Five euro area member states — Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Italy and Netherlands — already have rounding rules to the nearest 5 cents for cash payments.

Introducing rounding rules to the nearest 5 cents for cash payments would lead to the gradual withdrawal of 1- and 2-cent coins from circulation as these coins would no longer be needed to make payments.

Another option would be a hard and fast switch, eliminating the legal tender status of the two smallest denominations immediately.

At press time Oct. 1, more than 600 comments had been received, and the commenting period ends Oct. 26.

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