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IP/01/651

Brussels, 8 May 2001

European Commission provides carers of the blind, deaf and mentally handicapped with euro tokens for familiarisation

With a view to helping the groups of population suffering from sensory or intellectual disabilities to familiarise themselves with the euro coins, the European Commission has produced 37 000 sets of eight euro tokens each, corresponding to the denominations of the euro coins. Pedro Solbes, EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, handed the first of these sets to representatives of these groups of population at a special ceremony today in Brussels. The euro tokens will be distributed, through the Member States, to trainers of these groups.

These dummy coins or training tokens were designed on the basis of collaboration between the authorities and the relevant associations at both national and European level. They look and feel like the real euro coins that will circulate as of 1 January 2002. Their edge characteristics, vital for their recognition by blind people, as well as their colours, are identical to the ones of the euro coins and their dimensions are very similar. The design on the common side of the training tokens will include the basic characteristics the numeral of the face value and a relief destined to indicate where the rest of the design is situated. 1(1)

In order to avoid these training tokens entering into circulation and causing confusion, security precautions have been taken so that they will not be acceptable in coin operated machines: the metal composition is different and minute differences exist in their dimensions. Also, the inscription "training token" appears on the obverse.

The training tokens will be sent to each of the Member States. The appropriate national services in the Member States will distribute the tokens to trainers of the vulnerable groups. The distribution will start in the next few days. Similar training dummy banknotes were produced in February by the ECB and distributed by the Commission (IP/01/233).

In the framework of the "€uro week" of the 9th of May, the Commission organised today a ceremony during which Pedro Solbes, EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, handed the first set of the training euro tokens to representatives of the "European Blind Union", the "European Union of the Deaf", "Mobility International" and "Inclusion Europe". "This action indicates the will of the European institutions, the Commission in particular, to achieve that none is forgotten in the preparation of the euro changeover" said Mr. Solbes. Among the personalities participating in the ceremony were Mr. Panayotis Kouroublis, MP and a founder of the European movement in favour of the handicapped groups.

The Commission has taken a number of wide-ranging initiatives for helping vulnerable groups. Under the "Euro made easy" programme, it developed a European approach to respond to the specific needs of the populations lacking access to information. The Commission co-ordinates, together with the Member States and the specific associations, a network of more than 30 000 trainers specialised in the needs of these populations. It produces and distributes the necessary information material in ten languages and several hundred thousand copies. In addition, Community financing was used for the production by the European Union of the Blind of brochures in Braille and in easy-to-read characters, games and other information tools. "Everyone of us in the euro-area will have to learn a new range of values as well as becoming familiar with the new euro notes and coins. The euro tokens will facilitate the transition for fellow citizens with sensory or intellectual disabilities" said David Byrne, EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection.

The general public, in particular the vulnerable groups, will also have the possibility, as of mid-December, to obtain kits of real euro coins to familiarise themselves with the new money. "

ANNEX

NATIONAL INSTITUTIONS DESIGNATED FOR THE DISTRIBUTION OF EURO TRAINING TOKENS FOR VULNERABLE GROUPS

Member State

National institution designated

Contact person

Phone, fax, e-mail

Belgique

Belgie

Mr Romain COENEN,

Commissaire des Monnaies

Monnaie Royale de Belgique

Boulevard Pachéco, 32

B-1000 BRUXELLES

+ 32 (0)2 221 07 19

+32 (0)2 217 7064

romain.coenen@minfin.fed.be

Deutschland

Mrs Annemarie Graf,

Leiterin der Kassenabteilung,

Bundesbank

Landeszentralbank Mainz

Hegelstrasse 65,

D- 55122 Mainz

+49 61 31 377 861

:+49 61 31 377 888

kasse.lzb@t-online.de

Ellas

Mrs. Areti Assimakopoulou

Director General, Treasury and Budget

General Accounting Office

Panepistimiou 37

101 65 Athens - Greece

+ 301 33 29 494 - 495

+ 301 32 30 050

smaravel@mof-glk.gr

Espana

Mr. Julio CORCOBA,

Director of the Minting Department,

FNMT,

Jorge Juan 106

E - 28009 MADRID

+ 34 91 566 65 07

: + 34 91 566 65 72

jcorcoba@fnmt.es

France

Monsieur Jean-Noël PLUMAIL

La Monnaie de Paris,

Quai Conti, 11

F 75006 PARIS

+ 33 140 46 55 10

: + 33 1 40 46 57 00

jnplumail@monnaiedeparis.fr

Ireland

Liz Nolan

Assistant Principal

Euro Changeover Board of Ireland

15 Lower Hatch St.

Dublin 2

Ireland

: +353-1-6396200

(or +6396216)

: +353-1-6396203

(or +6396201/02)

nolanl@finance.gov.ie

(or euro@finance.gov.ie)

Italia

Ministero des Tesoro, del Bilancio e della Programmazione Economica

Comitato per l'Euro

Via XX Settembre 97

IT - 00187 ROMA

Mrs Pia ELLIOT de FAZIO

+ 39 06 476 14 368

+ 39 06 487 4548

(GSM +39 335 63 72 012)

Pia.elliot@tesoro.it

Luxembourg

Mrs Laurence JUNG

Ministère des Finances,

3, rue de la Congrégation,

L - 2931 LUXEMBOURG

+ 352 478 2608

: + 352 46 62 12

Laurence.Jung@fi.etat.lu

Nederland

Mrs Nathalie MICHIELSEN

Ministry of Finance

PO Box 20201

NL 2500 EE - THE HAGUE

+ 31 70 342 76 83

: + 31 70 342 79 00

n.m.a.michielsen@minfin.nl

Österreich

Mr Dietmar SPRANZ,

Vorsitzender des Vorstandes,

Münze Österreich

Am Heumarkt, 1

Postfach 181

A-1031 WIEN

+ 46 1 717 15 100

+43 (1) 53 53 408 and +43 (1) 71 54 060

Spranz@Austrian-Mint.at

Portugal

Mr Luis F. SANTOS MOREIRA

Director,

Imprensa Nacional, Casa Da Moeda,

Avenida de António José de Almeida

1000-136 LISBOA

+ 351 21 781 07 14

+ 351 21 781 08 14

smoreira@incm.pt

Suomi Finland

Mr Raimo MAKKONEN,

Director,

Mint of Finland

Suomersäntie 1

SF - 01741 VANTAA

FINLAND

+ 358 989 434 362

+ 358 989 82 74

raimo.makkonen@mint.fi

ECFIN C 4 07/05/2001

(1) HYPERLINK http://ec.europa.eu/mediatheque/photo/new_en.html http://ec.europa.eu/mediatheque/photo/new_en.html


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