Auteur: | By Teresa Küchler
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The Italian national bank will issue a €2 coin portraying the signing of the European constitution treaty in Rome one year ago.
On the national side of the coin, the goddess Europa holds a pen and the text of the failed European constitution, with the words "Constituzione Europea" written on the coin's outer ring.
Eighteen million coins, which are already being dubbed "coin-stitutions" will be minted for general circulation.
A commission spokesperson hinted however on Wednesday (16 November) that a coin commemorating the constitution would most probably become a collector's item.
"These coins will probably be snapped up by collectors and disappear from circulation," she said.
Questions on whether the Italian coin was being used as a political statement were avoided by the commission's spokesperson, arguing that the matter was national and not a Brussels-oriented one.
A spokesperson from the Italian representation in Brussels said that the debate was rather ridiculous.
"It is a debate about nothing. Issuing coins is under each member states' competence, and in this case the Italian authorities have decided to commemorate the first anniversary of the signing. It has no particular political value," the spokesperson said.
The Constitution was signed in Rome on 29 October last year, and was a small triumph for Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, after the Italian presidency had failed to get the member states to agree on a final text the year before.