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There are two countries in the Euro zone in which retail establishments forgo the use of 1 and 2 cent coins. According to, The Netherlands decided to say no thanks to the small coppers as early as September 2002, the same year the euro was launched. Finland nixed the 1 and 2 cent coins before they ever went into circulation.

Are businesses within their rights to refuse to accept the coins? According to, the European Central bank has no authority on the matter, as each country’s respective Finance Minister gets the final say on how each country uses its coins. Technically, retailers in each euro country should accept the small coins when foreigners such as yourself try to pawn them off, but they won’t give them out as change. Furthermore, this optional practice must be clearly posted by the entry to the shop and another notice posted at the checkout point. But try arguing that point when there’s a line of 20 customers breathing down your neck!

Rankled about paying that extra 2 cents when the principle of rounding up to the nearest 5 cents is applied? In that case, pay with your debit or credit card, as such transactions are processed down to the last penny. Then again, there is that cumbersome overseas transaction fee …

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