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15th Apr 2024

Slovak mint starts production of euro coins

  • Slovak euro coins are being produced at the speed of 750 coins per minute starting this week (Photo: European Commission)

Slovakia's mint has started manufacturing euro coins as the country prepares to join the 15-strong monetary union on 1 January 2009.

Some 500 million coins weighing 2,406 tonnes began to be produced at a speed of 750 coins per minute at the Mint in Kremnica on Tuesday (19 August) in a run to last till the end of the year, the state company's spokesman, Jaroslav Setnicky, told reporters.

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The quota is the prescribed amount that needs to be delivered to banks and be available for general distribution. Altogether, Slovakia will need to hold 188 million euro notes worth €7 billion, and 500 million euro coins - among them, the highest amount of 230 million will be of one cent coins.

It is currently a popular joke among Slovaks to say they will need sacks for coins when their country switches to the euro, as the poorest eurozone member state with lower prices and salaries than in the rest of the single currency area.

The euro will be the sixth currency in Slovakia's history and will replace the Slovak koruna which was introduced in 1993 as the then Czechoslovakia split into the two states of the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic.

As he was watching the formal launch of Slovak euro coin production in Kremnica on Tuesday (19 August), the Slovak finance minister, Jan Pociatek, suggested that the euro would serve Slovaks "longer and better than the previous currency," the Slovak daily SME reported.

The Slovak one and two-euro coins will feature a cross planted on top of a mountain with three hills, which is a national symbol also featuring on the country's flag.

It is the first time that the Christian crucifix will be included on the side of a euro coin whose design the individual member countries can decide over, although Spain and Portugal have images of famous cathedrals on some of their coins.

The 10, 20, 50-cent coins will feature Bratislava Castle, while the one, two and five-cent coins will show Mount Krivan, a symbol of the nation's sovereignty.

The 5.3 million-people strong Slovakia will join the eurozone as the second country of the former eastern bloc, after Slovenia.

The move comes just as the euro celebrates the 10th anniversary of its original introduction in 11 states in 1999 and the single currency area faces the threat of its first ever recession.

During the evaluation process, the long-term prospect of the country's price stability caused the biggest doubts over its readiness to join the club.

But despite recording the highest economic growth rates across the EU, Slovakia managed to keep inflation below the required threshold.

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