As the Euro Slides, a Belgian Coin Meets Its Waterloo

…Since members of the eurozone are allowed to produce a limited number of commemorative coins, the Belgians recently minted a 2-euro coin memorializing the 200th anniversary of the battle, which ended Napoleon’s rule in France.

But then the French got wind of it. They protested to European officials, arguing that the coin’s design, which shows a lion perched over a map, “appears prejudicial, in a context where the governments of the eurozone are trying to strengthen unity and cooperation throughout the monetary union.”

With 19 members, the eurozone was supposed to be the leading edge of Europe’s integration efforts. But Europe has a lot of trouble grappling with its largest problems — whether to integrate more tightly or drift apart, for example, or what to do with Greece. Trying to run a currency union without a fiscal union and with 19 financial policy agendas has made for messy governing.

European policy makers do have a knack for obsessing over details. They have regulated the curvature of cucumbers and the jugs used to serve olive oil in restaurants. Now, the pressing issue of Waterloo is being addressed.

Much has changed in the two centuries since Waterloo. One of the main combatants, Prussia, bowed out long ago. And the site of the battle is in a country that did not exist at the time, modern-day Belgium.

In the skirmish over the commemorative euros, the side of Napoleon prevailed. The Belgians were left with 180,000 new coins that had to be destroyed…

The French are still mad 200 years later. Pathetic.


  • Hard Little Machine

    They need to mint a coin with Mohammed on side and a swastika on the other.

    • Frau Katze

      Yep. About their speed.

  • FactsWillOut

    Austria should make one celebrating the defeat of the Ottoman siege of Vienna on Sept. 11, 1683.

    • DavidinNorthBurnaby

      Man, would there be howls of outrage. 🙂

      • FactsWillOut

        Music to my ears.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    What are the French bitching about? They became better off without Napoleon.

    • FactsWillOut

      I’m sure the Americans would bitch if a mint in Texas decided to make coins celebrating the death of Lincoln. America was better off without Lincoln, as well.

      • canminuteman

        The French celebrating he victories Napoleon is like the Germans celebrating the victories of Hitler.

        • Frau Katze

          Maybe not quite that bad, but still bad.

      • Frau Katze

        But they’re allowed to do a few with a national theme. The US has only one mint.

  • Billy Bob Thornton

    Well the EU is going to end because of centralized control from Brussels and Berlin. The point of the EU was to create a Fourth Reich.

    Germany and France are the strongest nations in the EU economically speaking and they need Russia again for their oil and natural gas.

    Without Russia, the EU is finished. Of course I feel it is inevitable the collapse of most EU nations. Russia assisting would stretch it out long into the future.

    I wonder if in the wings Germany is creating Marks on the side.

    • Billy Bob Thornton

      Russia and China are making deals and they are the future.

      • FactsWillOut

        Because the west has surrendered.
        The west cuts military spending while the ChiComs and Russia are increasing it.
        Russia is now more business and energy friendly than the west, operates closer to a free market than the west, as does China.

        • Billy Bob Thornton

          And I agree we need development. I am not for a green energy future like the left. The old left would have been for opening up oil and gas but they are not. Of course massive development in green energy is what China is going to do. The main reason the West seems to have surrendered is we don’t make anything anymore. Those two areas are leaders in manufacturing and they are very good in their agricultural goods as well. They understand what the world wants. So we need to learn from them and implement those ideas here.

    • Frau Katze

      There are other places they can get gas. Central Asia, maybe Iran. They’d have to build a lot of pipelines though.

  • andycanuck

    The lion is the monument at the site that’s so huge that it destroyed the most-interesting area of the battlefield. So it’s not some hidden insult to the French but reproducing the site’s monument on the coin.

    And showing Wellington and Napoleon on the coin’s holder is pretty evenhanded when they could have skipped Napoleon entirely and shown Wellington shaking hands with the Prussian Field-Marshal Blucher whose timely arrival drew valuable French resources away from the Anglo-Allied area of the battlefield. The handshake took place at a farm/inn on the field called La Belle Alliance appropriately enough.

    • Frau Katze

      The French are a touchy nation (on average).