Europe may drop small euro coins

AFP-JIJI

Small change in the euro, 1 and 2 cent coins, expensive to make and a nuisance for many, may have no future, the European Commission said Tuesday.

Small and awkward they may be, but they have cost the eurozone about ?1.4 billion since 2002, the commission said.

The commission outlined four possible scenarios for the coins, based on a cost-benefit analysis of their use — the status quo, making cheaper versions, and a speedy or a gradual withdrawal.

Some Europeans fear a spike in inflation if the small coins — which account for about half of all coinage in circulation — are dropped, since prices would inevitably be rounded up.