It was certain eurozone member states that expressed disagreement with the original artistic proposal for a Slovak commemorative coin depicting Saints Cyril and Methodius with crosses and halos set to be released in 2013, Andrej Králik from the Representation of the EU Commission in Slovakia said on Thursday, November 22.

The commission subsequently asked Slovakia to submit a modified proposal, which was later approved by the EU Council, Králik told the TASR newswire. He rejected statements by certain Slovak politicians who said that the case involved a 'dictate of Brussels' and 'high-handedness of officials from the EU Commission', describing these assertions as untrue and deceptive.

The commission stated that the removal of the religious symbols was due to the need to observe religious neutrality, as set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. German MEP Martin Kastler earlier on Thursday revealed that the countries that had raised objections to the original Slovak proposal were France and Greece, TASR reported. The two saints were natives of Thessaloniki, a city in Greece.

However, the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) and certain members of the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) caucus on Wednesday demanded that the Slovak central bank (NBS) insist on the original artistic proposal for the coin.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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