Hold onto your cent-ses?

This article was written as part of  Youth Media and the Irish Presidency, a European Movement Ireland initiative that aims to bring a unique and youth-focused perspective to coverage of the Irish Presidency and to encourage regional engagement with the Presidency and Europe.

European Commission considers scrapping 1 and 2 cent coins

The recently European Commission announced their plans to consider the withdrawal of one and two cent coins.

The pesky little coins are seen as a nuisance by many, easily lost and clogging up purses all over Europe.

Since 2002, the two smallest euro denominations have lost the Eurozone about €1.4 billion between their production and distribution. They cost more to make than they are actually worth, and retailers pay high handling fees for their delivery. As well as that, since most of these coins end up collecting dust in jars on bedside tables, they have to be continually minted in order to be kept in circulation.

The idea of getting rid of them has been met with mixed reactions, with consumers fearing that prices will inevitably be rounded up rather than down, leading to inflation.

We all remember the ruckus when the euro was first introduced.

Well, I was nine, so the only thing I remember is my indignation when penny sweets appeared to double in price over night.

The European Commission have suggested four possible fates for the coins. Either they will be kept as they are, be kept but produced more cheaply, be scrapped quickly or be slowly but painfully removed from circulation.

However, Ireland may not wait for orders from Europe. The Central Bank recently proposed that we follow the example of Finland and the Netherlands, where the coins have already been eliminated from everyday use. It has been suggested that a town be chosen to run a pilot scheme where shops and customers are encouraged not to carry one and two cent pieces.

That would be all well and good if the total price of a transaction was rounded up or down rather than the price of individual items, but the cynical among us will claim that corporate greed will somehow find a way of making a bigger profit from the change.

However, the popularity of psychological pricing suggests to me that retailers will remain interested in giving customers the impression that they are getting value for their money.

So no, I don’t think we’re really going to hear the end of those annoying television ads for couches under (a whole 1c under) €500!!!

But in my opinion, you will have to find another use for those coppers sometime soon.


-Donate them to be melted down for the Graham Norton statue that they’re planning in Cork.

-Shine them up with Coca Cola and make them into lovely pairs of earrings for all your friends.

-Carry them around and infuriate the local shopkeeper by insisting on using them to buy your coffee.

-Use them to learn some magic tricks. (Or pub tricks, for any over-18s reading.)

-Use them to start a savings fund for your future. (Or Rag Week, for any college students reading.)

-Stick them under furniture legs to fix wobbly tables and chairs.

-Collect them all in the cool folder you got for Christmas when the currency changed. (Every house I know has one.)

-Glue them to the footpath on a busy street and stand there with a camera, videoing people as they try to pick them up. Hehe.

-Swallow them.*

-Give them to charity. Because they have nothing better to do than sort out your most useless change. World hunger can wait like.

-Make them into a priceless work of art.

-Throw them all away on one of those coin-drop arcade machines.

*Do not actually do this at home.

…Or do the sensible thing, and put them into those little bags you get in the bank and swap them for some real cash- those new fivers that cash machines don’t seem to be accepting. Argh.

(Sorry that I’m still back-posting all these, I’ve lost track a bit in the last few months. It’s all opinion pieces to come now though, they’re a bit more fun! This one was published on Spunout, woo!)


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