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Commemorative coin bearing King Felipe’s face stirs up controversy

Collector’s item celebrates “70 years of peace in Europe,” a period including Franco's regime

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The two sides of the controversial collectors coin.
The two sides of the controversial collectors coin.

A collectors coin bearing the face of King Felipe VI has caused controversy due to the motto on the other side of the commemorative piece, which was issued by Spain’s National Mint (FMT).

The coin commemorates “70 years of peace in Europe,” in reference to the end of World War II in 1945. But critics note that in Spain, the last 70 years includes the Francisco Franco dictatorship. What’s more, the motto has echoes of the one the dictator himself used to celebrate “25 years of peace” following the end of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939).

The motto has echoes of the one the dictator himself used to celebrate “25 years of peace”

Joan Baldoví, a deputy for the Valencian group Compromís, said that “it is inappropriate for the government of Spain to attempt to celebrate 70 years of peace when this period encompasses Franco’s dictatorship, which lasted over 35 years until late 1975.”

Amadeu Altafaj, the Permanent Representative of the Catalan government to the European Union, tweeted “New coin in Spain: 70 years of peace. That includes 40 years of the Franco dictatorship, the peace of silence and death.”

Many other Twitter users posted critical comments about the new coin on the micro-blogging site.

Seventy years of peace in Europe. That includes 40 years of the peace of silence and death”

This is the 12th series of collector’s coins in the Europa Program. The set includes one silver coin with a face value of €10 but a price tag of €45, and one gold coin with a face value of €200 but a sale price of €45.

In early February, new one- and two-euro coins bearing the face of Spain’s new monarch went into circulation. Felipe VI took over from his father Juan Carlos in June of last year.

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