HUFFINGTON POST
02/05/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Argentina Is Running Out Of Coins

Suppose you want to ride the bus or feed a parking meter without exact change. Or suppose you just want to drop a few cents in a street musician's hat. Nothing easier, right? Not if you live in Argentina. Try doing any of these things there, and you could be in for a major hassle.

Why? Because Argentina is in the grips of a small-change shortage. Want change for a five-peso (about $1.70) note? Don't try getting it at a store, unless you plan to buy something -- and be ready in that case to have the merchant refuse your business rather than part with precious centavos, or to have him hand you bon-bons instead of coins. Banks aren't much help either. The law says they're supposed to give you up to 20 pesos worth of change; but most openly flout that rule, supplying just a few pesos worth, or even hanging out "No Change" signs, like the ones at retailers' kiosks.

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