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POLITICS

Could 1 and 2 cent euro coins soon be scrapped?

If you hate carrying pocketfuls of the tiny one and two cent euro coins then you'll be in favour of what the European Commission is planning to do.

Could 1 and 2 cent euro coins soon be scrapped?
AFP/ECDC

Brussels is considering a new rule to round off all prices to the nearest 5 cents, which would mean phasing out the small, brown one and two cent coins.

On Monday, the Commission opened a 15-week public consultation on the use of the small coins.

After consultation, the Commission will consider the possibility of putting forward a new law at the end of next year which would introduce uniform EU-wide rules for rounding off cash payments to the nearest 5 cents

“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 consultation said.

The commission “will carefully study the economic, environmental and social consequences of introducing uniform rounding rules,” it said on Monday.

Ordinary citizens and institutions are invited to share their opinions and suggestions on the issue of whether prices should be rounded off and the small coins ditched.

Citizens are invited to leave feedback on the Commission's website. A quick look at the comments suggests opinions were divided.

One commenter from France wrote: “I am in favour of removing the 1 and 2 cent coins. They are expensive to produce, to transport, and clutter up purses without providing any real service. In addition, these “small” coins seem to me all the less necessary as card and contactless payments have increased significantly (especially since the Covid epidemic).”

However another respondent summed up the views of many who though a rounding off of prices would simply mean a rounding up of prices at the expense of consumers.

“Abolishing 1 and 2 cent coins will most likely result in another rounding up of prices concerning mostly consumer goods, which will make day-to-day life even more expensive, whilst wages have not risen and are in the future unlikely to increase at the same rate,” wrote the anonymous commenter.

“Hence, the standard of living is progressively decreasing. Now that cannot possibly be, nor should it be, the aim of the European Union.”

 

Member comments

  1. No need to phase them out. Just make automated vending and coffee machines accept them.
    Very annoying that most of these don’t accept anything below the 5 cent coin.

  2. I think it’s better to abolish these two coins. One main reason to abolish it which would benefit the consumer is that there would be no more psychological pricing, instead of 99,99 it would make 100 or 99,95 . Good for us actually.

  3. …..because retailers have always put the consumer first and rounded prices down to benefit the consumer and reduced their profits, haven’t they?

  4. We had 1c and 2c coins in Australia and both coins were withdrawn from circulation in 1992 and nobody missed them. So many people now use cards anyway, so don’t see why they are needed. I generally come home with heaps of these after holidaying in Europe.

  5. When I lived in Belgium in pre-Euro days, there were far more Belgian francs than French francs per £ and the coins went down to 1/4 and 1/2 cents. Final bills were always rounded up or down, but the actual prices of goods still showed these small denominations. Only the final total was rounded, so 3 items at 4.45 would come to 13.35 and be charged as 13 francs, or at 4.85, making 14.55 would be charged as 15 francs. Seemed reasonable to me.

  6. When I lived in Belgium in pre-Euro days, there were far more Belgian francs than French francs per £ and the coins went down to 1/4 and 1/2 cents. Final bills were always rounded up or down, but the actual prices of goods still showed these small denominations. Only the final total was rounded, so 3 items at 4.45 would come to 13.35 and be charged as 13 francs, or at 4.85, making 14.55 would be charged as 15 francs. Seemed reasonable to me.

  7. They haven’t been using the 1c & 2c in Italy for quite some time now – rounding off to the nearest 5c.
    Keep up France….

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ECONOMY

Banco Santander posts record profit as rates rise

Spanish banking giant Banco Santander reported on Thursday record profits for 2022, as higher interest rates boosted its earnings and offset the costs from soaring inflation.

Banco Santander posts record profit as rates rise

The bank posted an annual net profit of €9.6 billion, up 18 percent from 2021 and higher than forecast by analysts polled by financial data firm FactSet.

“2022 was another strong year for Santander as we made further progress in growing our customer base profitably, while maintaining a rock-solid balancesheet,” Banco Santander head Ana Botin said.

Central banks have hiked interest rates worldwide in an effort to tamerunaway inflation, which jumped after economies emerged from Covidrestrictions, and surged higher still after Russia invaded Ukraine last year.

Botin said central banks and governments are expected to continue to focuson bringing down inflation this year.

“Our team has proven experience in navigating these conditions successfullyand we expect revenue growth will continue to offset cost inflation pressuresand the anticipated increase in cost of risk,” she said.

READ ALSO: Spain to slap windfall taxes on banks, energy firms

The bank, which has a strong presence in Europe and Latin America, added seven million new clients last year, bringing its worldwide total to 160 million.

Its net interest income, the equivalent of its revenue, rose 16 percent to reach €38.6 billion, slightly higher than forecast by FactSet.

The bank confirmed that shareholders would receive a payout of around 40 percent of the group’s underlying profit, divided equally between cashdividends and share buybacks.

Spain’s left-wing government plans to impose a temporary windfall tax on big banks in 2023 and 2024 to finance measures aimed at helping households cope with higher prices.

The measure is expected to add €1.5 billion to the state budget this year and a similar amount in 2024.

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