Embarrassment for Emmanuel Macron as EU forces France to melt down millions of coins | World | News | Express.co.uk
The French Government and the country’s equivalent of the Royal Mint has appeared to blame one another for the humiliating oversight.
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French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (Image: GETTY)
France has been forced to melt down 27 million coins – because the star representing the European Union failed to conform to strict regulations set down by the bloc, in the latest humiliation for Emmanuel Macron.
The bizarre development appears to have triggered a row between the Monnaie de Paris, France’s equivalent of the Royal Mint, and Macron’s Government, with each side seemingly blaming the other for the embarrassing error.
The Monnaie produced the 10, 20 and 50 cent coins complete with a new pattern in November. However, it subsequently realised the way the stars of the EU flag were shown did not match up to Brussels’ stringent rules.
Members of the EU27 countries are permitted to change the design of the “national” face of euro coins once every 15 years, but can only do so with permission from both the European Commission and other eurozone governments, which must be informed and are allowed seven days during which they can object.
The Monnaie de Paris is France’s equivalent of the Royal Mint (Image: Getty)
According to Politico, France contacted the Commission informally in November – but the Monnaie went ahead with the production of the currency without waiting for the green light.
It was then sent an informal warning from the Commission pointing out that the new design did not comply, a French economy ministry source claimed. A spokesman for the Commission refused to comment on previous conversations with France, but confirmed the French treasury subsequently submitted a corrected design on December 12, endorsed by the EU nine days later.
The coins were intended to be presented during a visit to the Monnaie’s Paris headquarters by France’s Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire – but this did not happen.
The recently minted French euro coins have fallen foul of the European Commission (Image: Getty)
Now there appears to be a discrepency in terms of who foots the bill.
Without revealing any figures, the economy ministry official suggested as an autonomous public company and not part of the French administration, the Monnaie would be saddled with the loss, saying: “There will be no cost to the French taxpayer, as the company will absorb it in its operating costs.”
However, Marc Schwarz, CEO of the Monnaie, seemingly rejected such suggestions, claiming instead the “French State” was responsible.
Express.co.uk has contacted the Monnaie de Paris for comment.
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