National Bank of Slovakia gets head start on Euro-coin design

Photo: European Commission

Although Slovakia joined the European Union only in May this year and will not be adopting the single European currency for at least another three years, its Central Bank decided to get a head start and recently launched a competition for the best design of the national side of the Euro coins.

Photo: European Commission
Ivan Sramko is the Central Bank's Vice Governor:

"Even if there is plenty of time ahead, we have decided to take all the necessary steps so that the Slovak Euro coins will be ready for use as of January 1 2008, the day we anticipate Slovakia adopts the EU single currency."

Mr Sramko adds that the competition will have two rounds. The first, to close in January next year, will select the best five. They will advance to the second round and will have to submit their design release by September 2005 to the Central bank's board, who will announce the results by the end of next year. The EU monetary unit has eight nominal values, which have a national motive on the flip side. Ivan Sramko again:

"The National Bank would like the national side of the Euro coin to reflect the historical, cultural, and landscape values that will help promote the country. Images of living personalities and themes promoting racism and xenophobia are not allowed."

One of the most important contenders for the Central Bank's project is the 675 year-old mint located in the central Slovakian town of Kremnica. Its marketing director Jaroslav Vsetnicky speaks about the good reputation his company has:

Photo: European Commission
"Eighty percent of our production is producing coins. Our domestic customer is of course the Slovak National Bank, for which we produce the currency coins. A great percentage of our coins are exported abroad to Asian countries such as Bangladesh and India."

The mint that produces more than half a million coins and medals a year has its own design studio, where traditional techniques are combined with computer graphics. Some of its metal masters could become the winners of 32,500 Euros, the prize that the Central Bank is going to give to the authors of the design that will be used on the Slovak Euro coins:

"One of the biggest rivals and competition for the Kremnica mint are for example the French, German, and Canadian mints and also mints in South America. Entry into the European Union should also influence our work. We will certainly apply for the tender for producing the Euro currency."

The monetary division of the Slovak Central Bank has estimated that approximately 400 million Slovak Euro coins will need to be minted in the first round of launching the Euro in the country.