Vatican puts its euro coins into circulation

By MATEJ HRUSKA | EUOBSERVER

BRUSSELS – After years of serving as items for collectors, the euro coins issued by the Holy See will now be used on the streets of the Vatican City. The first is a 50-cent coin bearing the image of Pope Benedict XVI.

The Vatican adopted the currency of the eurozone in 2002, but its coins could rarely be found in the free circulation. The initial series of the coins with a value amount of €310,400, which featured Pope John Paul II, were issued only in collector sets.

The French religious news agency I.Media reported Thursday coins were being given out two at a time as change at the Vatican grocery store, post office and gas station. Restricting the circulation to only one type of coin will help keep up the price of the collectors’ editions, I.Media wrote.

Under the monetary agreement between the EU and the Vatican reached in December 2009, the Holy See had to increase the number of its own coins in the circulation. The Vatican City must circulate at least 51 percent of its currency at face value and it was allowed to more than double the amount of euro coins it can issue to €2.3 million annually. Read more at EUOBSERVER

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