Counting the cost – One and two cent coins are under threat

Heroic off-duty police officer rescues man from train tracks in Madrid, Spain Martyn Jandula/

THE one and two cent coins that are part of the Euro currency are under threat because they are expensive to produce!

Minting the coins is a ‘loss-making activity’ which has cost the European Union an estimated total cumulative loss of €1.4 billion over the last 10 years.

There are concerns that scrapping the coins would be unpopular throughout the Eurozone with the inherent fear among most residents being that shops and businesses would create further inflation by rounding up prices to the nearest five cents, rather than considering in some cases the option of rounding down.

European Commission talks are ongoing at present with business and consumer associations, central banks, treasuries and mints, with four possible scenarios being offered: cut production costs of the coins; gradually phase out the coins; quickly withdraw them, or continue issuing the coins as happens now.

Since the Euro came into circulation in 2002, more than 45.8 billion one and two cent coins have been produced, the equivalent to 137 per person living in the Eurozone.

The small coins are often known as ‘calderilla’ among Spaniards, while many British expatriates call them ‘shrapnel’. 

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