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Last Updated: Monday, 21 June, 2004, 16:07 GMT 17:07 UK
German stores run out of change
Customer hands back Personal Shopping Assistant at Metro Future Store
German shoppers have been told to use their small change
German retail giant Metro has been forced to import lorry-loads of euro coins from Austria because of a nationwide shortage of small change.

"The Bundesbank isn't delivering the volumes of small denomination cent coins we need," a Metro spokesman said.

The Bundesbank, Germany's central bank has warned that the country is running low on coins.

German shoppers who use notes to buy goods, and hoard their coins at home, are thought to be partly to blame.

Another possible factor is a tradition in some regions for brides-to-be to collect copper coins to buy their wedding shoes.

Tight supplies of the metals used to make the coins are exacerbating the shortage.

The Bundesbank has called on Germans to spend their stores of small change, and has urged retailers to accept larger sums in coins.

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