Guest post by Pavol Demes, a Bratislava-based foreign policy analyst and photographer.
Following the political dispute over the 2-Euro coin design containing the halos and crosses at the apostles of Slavs – St Cyril and Methodius (see this earlier coverage on EurActiv), Slovakia’s commemorative coin was finally released on July 5, 2013.
On this day Slovakia, a member of the Eurozone since 2009, and the Czech Republic celebrated the 1,150th Anniversary of arrival of these Byzantine Greek brothers to the territory of Great Moravia.
Despite the original criticism coming from the two members of Eurozone – France and Greece, Slovakia’s national bank has decided to stick with its original coin design prepared by local artist Miroslav Hric.
The Governor of the National Bank of Slovakia Jozef Makúch announced the release of the halo and crosses-containing coins at a large pilgrimage that took place in Nitra, a key Slovak historical city and one of the seats of the Great Moravian Empire. The near-by Church of St Emeram holds relics of St Cyril.
Following the announcement, the Governor presented the first three commemorative coins to the President of Slovakia Ivan Gašparovi, President of the Parliament Pavol Paška and the Prime Minister Róbert Fico in front of a wide array of cameras.
One million pieces of 2-Euro coins, along with 10,000 proof collector’s coins, were minted this spring in the almost 700 years old Kremnica Mint in central Slovakia. The coin became very popular among Slovak citizens.
Pavol Demes is a Bratislava-based foreign policy analyst and photographer. He previously served as government minister and foreign policy advisor to the Slovak President.Blogactiv Team