Ireland latest eurozone country to ditch one and two cent coins

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By Euronews
Ireland latest eurozone country to ditch one and two cent coins

Ireland has become the latest eurozone country to phase out one and two-cent coins from circulation.

It joins six other European nations to move away from small copper which is too expensive to produce.

The Central Bank of Ireland is sending out information to thousands of businesses about the initiative, which follows successful trial periods.

As from October 28 which has been designated Rounding rollout day, the total amount of any cash transaction will be rounded up or down to the nearest five cents.

The scheme will be voluntary, with shops and customers encouraged to take part.

The overall cost of producing the small coins has become prohibitive.

A one-cent coin costs well above its value (1.65 cents); a two-cent coin almost as much (1.94 cents).

They will however remain legal tender, and people will still be able to exchange them in banks.

Ireland’s Central Bank said 2.5 billion of the coins had been made since the euro was introduced – enough to go round the island seven times.

The bank has predicted that retailers and consumers will welcome the change but some charities are concerned that the withdrawal of small coins will hit donations.

The country now joins Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden who have all adopted a similar policy, aimed at reducing the taxpayer’s bill.