Greek design picked for commemorative euro coin

GMT 14:47 2015 Thursday ,28 May

Arab Today, arab today Greek design picked for commemorative euro coin

Vladis Dombrovskis (L)
Brussels - AFP

Greece's future in the euro may be in doubt, but the EU has nevertheless picked a Greek design for a special coin for the 30th anniversary of the bloc's official flag.

With no discernible irony, the two-euro coin designed by Georgios Stamatopoulos of the Bank of Greece was chosen by 30 percent of 100,000 voters in an online competition by the European Commission.

It features childishly-drawn human shapes dancing in a circle around the EU's 12-starred flag.

Stamatopoulos said the design "represents twelve stars that morph into human figures embracing the birth of a new Europe."

Valdis Dombrovskis, the European Commission vice-president for the euro, said the coin celebrated the "key moment" of the adoption of the flag as the EU's official emblem.

"I welcome the winning design by the Bank of Greece and the participation of tens of thousands of Europeans in its selection," the former Latvian prime minister said in a statement.

Around 75 million of the coins will be produced for use in the 19 countries that use the European single currency, the Commission said.

But there are fears that the coin may last longer than debt-stricken Greece's membership of the eurozone.

Greece's radical Syriza government is locked in a four-month standoff with its EU-IMF creditors to unlock the last tranche of its international bailout so it can pay its bills.

Athens risks default and a possible exit from the euro if it cannot make a payment to the International Monetary Fund due on June 5, with the EU on Thursday playing down Greek claims that a deal was imminent.

But despite the latest outbreak in the Greek debt crisis that has repeatedly threatened to cause the collapse of the euro, Brussels is pushing on with its vision of a currency that can unite the continent.

For the coin competition, the eurozone's national mints submitted a total of 62 designs for the coin and a jury selected the five that would then go to a public vote.

It is the fourth time eurozone states have issued a common commemorative coin, with previous versions in 2007 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome that founded the EU, in 2008 to mark 10 years of monetary union -- which was also designed by Stamatopoulos -- and in 2012 to mark a decade of euro notes and coins.


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