Author Topic: Belgian woes  (Read 799 times)

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Offline Figleaf

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Belgian woes
« on: August 13, 2018, 11:54:00 PM »
Not enough 10 cent coins
by Claudia Van den Houte

August 11, 2018

In a number of bank branch offices there is a scarcity of coins of 10 cents. This is confirmed by the Royal Mint of Belgium. This agency no longer mints coins - the production department was closed at the end of 2017 - but orders them from the Royal Dutch Mint (KNM) or obtains them from stocks abroad. "If the National Bank informs us of the need for pieces, we place an order with the KNM," says Ingrid Van Herzele, mintmaster at the Royal Mint of Belgium. "The purchase order for the 10 cent coins has recently left for the Netherlands." The pieces must be delivered by the end of this year at the latest. Coins of 5 and 20 cents are also ordered, although stocks are higher. "The stocks of 10 cents suddenly went down sharply. I do not know the reason. "It is possible that the 10 cent coins, like the pieces of 1 and 2 cents, are hoarded too much. Pieces of 1 and 2 cents are no longer made. (CVHN)

Source: HLN
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Belgian woes
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2018, 07:40:59 PM »
Strange that it has gotten this far. The tender documents of last year already mentioned that they were planning to let mint 10 euro cents coins this year. The order should have been sent out much earlier. My Belgian bank wasn't affected (yet) as I recently obtained 1,000 pieces without any problem.

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Belgian woes
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2018, 09:09:11 AM »
Belgium now also has a shortage of 1 and 2 euro cent coins. The European Central Bank forbids Belgium to mint these denominations. They think Belgium has produced more than enough of them (1.6 billion pieces since the introduction of the euro). Belgium is considering to hold a campaign through the banks in the hopes that people will deposit their 1 and 2 euro cent coins. It is doubtful if such campaign will have effect as Belgian banks ask for a fee to be able to deposit coins.

Belgium is currently working on a law which makes rounding mandatory. That will however be ready early 2019 at the earliest.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2018, 10:11:13 AM by eurocoin »

Offline chrisild

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Re: Belgian woes
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2018, 04:50:28 PM »
The European Central Bank forbids Belgium to mint these denominations.

That must be new indeed. All the sources I know say that the ECB merely controls the cash volume, not the quantity of single denominations. Strange, that ...

Christian

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Belgian woes
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2018, 05:08:46 PM »
That must be new indeed. All the sources I know say that the ECB merely controls the cash volume, not the quantity of single denominations. Strange, that ...

Christian

I was thinking the same, but as it came from the spokesperson of their Treasury...

I remember a case in 2013 where 35 million Dutch 1 euro cent coins were minted and then brought into circulation in Belgium. The Royal Dutch Mint had earlier that year sold sets claiming that amongst others the 1 euro cent coin would not be brought into circulation in the Netherlands. Very clever wording. I wonder if the Belgian Treasury at the time surpassed a similar prohibition to mint a significant amount of 1 euro cent coins. Both the National Bank of Belgium and the Royal Dutch Mint have always denied that any Dutch coins were ever minted to be circulated in Belgium. Research by some of the best numismatists in the field of euros at the time proved they were lying.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2018, 07:05:01 PM by eurocoin »

Offline redlock

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Re: Belgian woes
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2018, 08:19:28 PM »
I can only think of two scenarios why the ECB ''forbids'' Belgium to mint 1c and 2c coins:

a) Belgium has reached the overall yearly value of coins they are allowed to put into circulation. Remember they had to order additional 5c, 10c and 20c coins.

b) The ECB told the Belgians to get the Cent coins from countries that have an excess of them because they do not need them. Italy comes immediately to mind.

Still, I find it very odd...

Offline chrisild

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Re: Belgian woes
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2018, 08:34:10 PM »
a) Belgium has reached the overall yearly value of coins they are allowed to put into circulation.

"Hmm" again. ;)  Such limits apply to the four euro countries that have monetary agreements with the EU, not to member states. So the second explanation makes a little more sense, with the emphasis on "a little". And even if it was not the ECB but the EC (the Commission) that "intervened", I do not quite understand the background and legality ...

Christian

Offline chrisild

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Re: Belgian woes
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2018, 09:00:46 PM »
Well, I tried to find some more info about this. And things are getting stranger. ;)

Here is a brief story published by fok.nl - and it does say that "for the time being" the ECB does not allow Belgium to make more of those low denomination coins. Quote: Ze zitten te lang in spaarpotten en portemonees en daardoor is er een tekort. Dat bevestigt ook Francis Adyns van de Federale Overheidsdienst Financiën. “Maar dat is niet onze schuld. De Europese Centrale Bank verbiedt ons voorlopig om nieuwe munten te slaan.”

End quote. The part that I find strange, however, is the source provided: The fok.nl article specifically refers to this Het Laatste Nieuws article. And yes, Francis Adyns is mentioned in that story too. But I cannot find the ECB reference there.

Christian

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Belgian woes
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2018, 05:56:50 AM »
The ECB has been replaced with 'the Government'. So apparently Belgian government refuses to do something effectively about the shortage.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Belgian woes
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2018, 06:15:56 AM »
Intuitively (I don't have enough info for a balanced judgement), I feel the Belgian government is right. The story that there are enough coins out there, but they are not circulating sounds correct. You see that effect often enough. Anecdotically, my wife is now giving me her 1 and 2 cent coins received in France. She finds them useless and "heavy" - meaning that they pile up because she doesn't spend them and she blames the coins for her payment habits. :)

In that situation, minting more coins considered useless and not circulating makes no sense. Now, it would make sense to start rounding...

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Belgian woes
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2018, 07:39:09 AM »
I think it is way too early for there to no longer to be any stock of these denominations. The chances of their campaign being successfull are slim to none. Therefore more coins should be minted whether they like it or not.

At the same time, as a collector I hope it will still take very long before these denominations are gone and I am sure the elderly lady who to my surprise recently successfully demanded 2 eurocents back in a Belgian shop agreed with me.  ;)

Offline redlock

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Re: Belgian woes
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2018, 09:12:51 AM »
So apparently Belgian government refuses to do something effectively about the shortage.

After reading the article in Het Laatste Nieuws (yes, I can read and understand Dutch), in my opinion, it's clear it's the Federal Belgian government (and not the ECB) that refuses to let mint new 1c and 2c coins. Their resolution to the ''crisis'' is to make rounding finally mandatory.
The refusal by the Fed. Belgian Gov. makes much more sense to me than a refusal by the ECB. I don't want to get too political. But blaming ''Europe'' (here in form of the ECB) for problems is a time proven tactic by national authorities...


Offline eurocoin

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Re: Belgian woes
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2018, 06:06:01 PM »
As of 1 December of next year, rounding is mandatory in Belgium making the 1 and 2 euro cent coins superfluous there.  :(

Offline chrisild

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Re: Belgian woes
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2018, 07:07:54 PM »
Since the EU cannot come to an agreement that would apply to the entire euro area, I welcome those country specific initiatives. Admittedly I do feel a little sorry for the 1 and 2 cent coins from countries that have different designs for the different denominations, but Belgium is definitely not one of those ...

Christian

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Belgian woes
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2018, 07:54:48 PM »
Since the EU cannot come to an agreement that would apply to the entire euro area


I don't know. The indicative planning of the roadmap was Q4 2017, as far as I know we have never heard anything about it anymore..