Starting today, merchants in the North-Rhine Westphalia town of Kleve, won't give you a penny for your thoughts...or take one as part of a sale. They're making themselves part of a movement to ditch Europe's smallest coins.
The town is just across the border from Nijmegen in the Netherlands, where one and two-cent coins disappeared from circulation several years ago, after a similar move by merchants in one town spread nationwide. The Kleve merchants hope to set off a similar move in Germany.
Other Eurozone countries that have ditched the small change include Finland, Belgium and Ireland. Sweden, not a Euro user, is moving toward an altogether cashless society.
In Kleve, where 60 members of the merchant group have signed up, and more are expected, prices will be rounded up or down to the nearest five cents. Eventually, they hope that local branches of national companies will also join in. One factor that's driving the move: Banks are now charging sizable fees for accepting deposits of large numbers of small coins.
For more on this story from TheLocal.de click HERE
For TG's previous coverage on Scandinavian cashless plans click HERE