France has melted down 27 million coins after the European Union declared that their designs did not meet requirements. The Monnaie de Paris, the country’s mint, produced the 10, 20 and 50 cent coins with a new design in November, but later found that the way the stars of the EU flag were depicted did not meet the exact requirements of the European Commission. Under EU law, countries can change the design of the “national” face of euro coins every 15 years, but they need the green light from the Commission, as well as other eurozone governments, who must be informed and have seven days. to raise objections. France informally contacted the Commission in November before making a formal request for design approval, but the mint went ahead without waiting for EU approval. It then received an informal warning from the Commission, which emphasized that the new design was not in line with EU rules, according to a French economy ministry official with direct knowledge of the matter. A Commission spokesman confirmed to Politico that the French finance ministry formally presented the revised design on December 12, which received EU approval on December 21. The new coins were to be unveiled during the visit of French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire to the Monnaie’s prestigious headquarters in Paris. Not surprisingly, it didn’t end up happening. Secret Design Now a blame game has begun between Monnaie and the government. The same economy ministry official stressed that Monnaie is an autonomous public company and not part of the French administration. This means that the Monnaie will fully cover the costs of re-minting the coins. “There will be no cost to the French taxpayer as the company will bear it,” the official said. The case was first reported by French media outlet La Letre, which quoted the head of Monnaie de Paris, Marc Schwartz, as saying that the “French state” was responsible for what happened. The design of the new coins, proposed by the French government and approved by the Commission, is still a secret and will be revealed before spring, the French economy ministry said.
Illustrative Photo: 1850 20 French Francs gold coin. This version has the image of Ceres – the Goddess of agriculture and the reverse has the value and year surrounded by a wreath. The reverse has the value and year surrounded by a wreath. The text reads LIBERTE EGALITE FRATERNITE and REPUBLIC FRANCAISE.