Vatican Circulates 50-Cent Coin


VATICAN CITY, JULY 22, 2010 ( Responding to a European Union directive to circulate more than half of its euro money at face value, the Vatican began to issue 50-cent coins this month.

Last December, the Vatican and the European Union signed a monetary convention that updated the 2000 accord that introduced the euro as the official currency of Vatican City State.

Among the agreements, it was stipulated that at least 51% of Vatican coins should be in circulation. Previously, a large part of them were sold at a higher rate as collectibles.

The French news agency I.Media reported Thursday that the first of the city-state's euro coins, which feature an image of Benedict XVI, have entered into circulation

The agency revealed that for the last two weeks, the coins were being given out two at a time as change at the Vatican grocery store, post office and gas station.

The same convention also allowed the Vatican to mint €2,300,000 annually, plus a variable supplementary quota. Previously, the value was €1,074,000.

It also stipulated Vatican agreement to European Union law on money laundering, fraud and falsification of bills.