06/09/2015 05:55 pm ET Updated Jun 09, 2015

Belgium Defeats France In Battle Of Waterloo Coin Controversy

As the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo approaches, France suffered another galling defeat as Belgium exploited a eurozone loophole to mint coins marking that painful moment in French history.

The controversy erupted earlier this year when France's objections forced Belgium to melt down 175,000 €2 coins it had made for the anniversary taking place next week.

France complained in March that the coins contradicted the spirit of European unity, prompting Belgium's finance minister to chide that Europe had bigger problems to deal with.

Belgium announced this week it would instead mint €2.5 and €10 coins with images of the battle. Using such irregular currency amounts allows Belgium to circumvent a eurozone rule that stipulates that other European nations have to approve of coin designs, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The Battle of Waterloo, which took place on June 18, 1815, remains a sore subject in some quarters of France. The British and Prussian defeat of French forces at the town of Waterloo marked the end of the rule of Emperor Napoleon and his campaign to control Europe.



The 14 Most Endangered European Heritage Sites