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Belgium carried on the process of minting 70,000 €2.50 coins commemorating the Battle of Waterloo, in Brussels, Tuesday. The coins celebrate the 200th anniversary of the battle, which saw Napoleon defeated by the combined forces of the Duke of Wellington and Gebhard Leberecht von Blucher. The coins caused a diplomatic dispute with France, who objected to the process, mothballing Belgium's minting of commemorative two euro coins, of which 180,000 had already been made. France claimed the coins undermined the French conciousness, by celebrating a defeat that altered French history. They, therefore, argued the move undermined European unity. However, Belgium circumvented France's protestations by employing a EU rule that allows member states to issue coins of "irregular denomination," hence the value of €2.50. The coins can only be spent within Belgium. They can also be bought outside of Belgium at a cost of €6.00 ($6.75). The coins depict a lion on top of a hill on the site of the French defeat, with lines denoting to the position of British and Prussian troops who defeated the famous French Emperor at Waterloo, near modern day Brussels.
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