11 June 2015

Whiny Bitch of the Day: France

France has its panties in a bunch because Belgium has produced a €2.50 coin commemorating Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo:
Perhaps befitting a battle that ended French hegemony in Europe, Paris, it seems, has been outflanked once again.

After it objected to a decision in March by Belgium to introduce a new 2 euro coin to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, the Belgians retreated, scrapping 180,000 coins they had already minted.

But victory for France is proving elusive.

This week, Belgium decided to circumvent French resistance by invoking a little-known European Union rule that allows countries to issue euro coins of their choice, provided they are in an irregular denomination.

That led to the unveiling of a €2.50 coin — a first in Belgium — and 70,000 of them have now been minted. The coins, which can only be spent inside Belgium, display a monument of a lion atop a cone-shaped hill on the site of France’s humiliation, as well as lines indicating where troops were positioned when forces led by Britain and Prussia defeated Napoleon in the countryside near Brussels.

Johan Van Overtveldt, the Belgian finance minister, insisted on Monday that the new coins were not meant to provoke Gallic anger.

“The goal is not to revive old quarrels in a modern Europe — and there are more important things to sort out,” he was quoted as saying by Agence France-Presse. “But there’s been no battle in recent history as important as Waterloo, or indeed one that captures the imagination in the same way.”


In Britain, where the 19th-century poet laureate Robert Southey called the Battle of Waterloo “the greatest deliverance that civilized society has experienced” since Charles Martel repelled an Islamic conquest of Europe in 732, the new €2.50 coin aroused similar adulation.

“Well done Belgium beat the French at their own game of finding ways around EU rules, the English should take note!!” Michael Dunn, from Stratford-upon-Avon, wrote on Twitter.

Others were less impressed. On Facebook, Manuel Di Pietrantonio suggested that the value of the dispute was about €2.50.
I agree with Mr. Di Pietrantonio.  It's a tempest in a teapot, and it is the French who are making it so.

Commemorating its 200th anniversary is completely appropriate.

Waterloo is a very big deal:  Not only did it end the career of Napoleon, but it was the triumph of the General Staff over the lone general, which served to transform war.

I so want to get one and try to spend it in Paris.


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