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Belgian Munt to close in 2010?

Started by a3v1, September 19, 2008, 12:09:15 AM

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a3v1

Belgian government has decided it will close its Mint in 2010.
Producing all Belgian coins needed nowadays is much cheaper elsewhere, so keeping its own Mint (MRB/KMB) no longer is profitable.
In the future all Belgian coins will be minted by Monnaie de Paris in Pessac (France).
Regards,
a3v1
 
Over half a century of experience as a coin collector.
-------------
Money is like body fat: If there's too much of it, it always is in the wrong places.

blackev

That is very interesting a3v1, Thanks for the info.

-blackev

Miguel.mateo

Sources please? 

It is difficult for me to believe that the business is non profitable, maybe under a bad management of course, but with so many countries asking for coin production, they just need to stay competitive.  I do agree though that with Slovakia joining next year then it is more difficult to be competitive.

Miguel

BC Numismatics

A3v1,
  It's a shame that the Royal Belgian Mint is going to be closed down.You should put a posting up on Geert's website at http://www.muntslag.eu .

I'd never heard of a country closing down its own mint.

Aidan.

a3v1

The Belgian Royal Mint for years has been unable of producing coins at competitive prices.
One of the reasons for this is that its building was sold several years ago and rented back at prohibitive costs.
Another reason is the extreme complexity of Belgian decision-making. Apart from a National Government Belgium has no less than four Regional Governments and they all have a say in each and every decision to be made regarding the (national) minting process.

The decision of the closing down probably will be announced publicly next month. A proposal of opening a sales office for collector's coins at another location is under consideration. It is not sure yet that all production of coins will be moved to France. All orders will be put out to tender and the cheapest bidder wins.

Miguel asked for my sources. As my main source is heavily involved he prefers to remain unnamed. All I can say is that he's employed by the Belgian Federal Ministry of Finances.
Regards,
a3v1
Over half a century of experience as a coin collector.
-------------
Money is like body fat: If there's too much of it, it always is in the wrong places.

Miguel.mateo

Very interested, I was wondering if you saw that in some Belgian site, that is what I meant by sources.  Thank for the explanation though and it is indeed a shame to see this happening.

Thanks,
Miguel

a3v1

@ Miguel,
We, alas, are living in a very competitive era. No nation can afford keeping open its National Mint for reasons of prestige only when it is much cheaper to order its national coins abroad.
At present, euro coins are minted in sixteen different mints in twelve different countries. That is too many by far. More mints will be victimized in the foreseeable future.
Regards,
a3v1
Over half a century of experience as a coin collector.
-------------
Money is like body fat: If there's too much of it, it always is in the wrong places.

theeuro

Can someone please provide a reliable source for this information?

Many thanks!

Kind regards,
MdV

chrisild

From my experience, a3v1 is quite careful when it comes to spreading such info, so I consider him to be quite reliable. :) But if you were asking for sources such as government bulletins or news agency reports - no, nothing yet as far as I can tell. Maybe we should just wait a few more weeks.

And while it would be sad to see a mint with a fairly long tradition being closed, I don't think that is a shame. As mentioned before, we have more than a dozen mints in Euroland anyway - can they all be profitable? Currently cash can be used more universally in the euro area than plastic, but that will change sooner or later. So coins will play a less important role ...

By the way, several euro countries have their coins made elsewhere. Even those that have a mint in the country may order pieces from mints elsewhere. A few days ago I read that Ireland needs more low value coins. Where will they come from? Right - the Mint of Finland.

Christian

Miguel.mateo

There is already an announcement in the Forum of The Euro Information Website, so this is quite confirmed now!  I am sure it will be in the media soon.

Thanks,
Miguel

a3v1

Quote from: Miguel.mateo on September 21, 2008, 03:38:34 AM
There is already an announcement in the Forum of The Euro Information Website, so this is quite confirmed now!  I am sure it will be in the media soon.
The announcement in the Forum is based on the information I supplied to them, plus information they received from another source within ECOFIN.
Whether it will be in the media soon or somewhat later depends greatly on whether the Belgian politicians will be able of achieving the much needed national reforms, a subject on which there almost are as many views as there are political parties. ;) The present enormous disarray in Belgian politics is unprecendented. :'(
Regards,
a3v1
Over half a century of experience as a coin collector.
-------------
Money is like body fat: If there's too much of it, it always is in the wrong places.

a3v1

The news is officially out now. Yesterday it was in Belgian papers.
And Belgian trade unions have been informed that the 90 staff of the Royal Belgian Mint will be unemployed as per January 1, 2010.


But remember: You've read it first on this forum. ;D
Regards,
a3v1
Over half a century of experience as a coin collector.
-------------
Money is like body fat: If there's too much of it, it always is in the wrong places.

chrisild

Quote from: a3v1 on September 27, 2008, 09:36:12 AM
But remember: You've read it first on this forum. ;D
Confirmed. :) After reading your new post, I had a look at some media sites, and yes, it is definitely more than a rumor.

"La Monnaie Royale va fermer"
http://www.rtlinfo.be/rtl/news/article/174556/--La+Monnaie+Royale+va+fermer
"Koninklijke Munt sluit zijn deuren"
http://www.nieuwsblad.be/Article/Detail.aspx?ArticleID=NJ213TDT

According to those texts the federal government has not made an official decision yet. Might be a mere formality though ...

Christian

a3v1

Quote from: chrisild on September 27, 2008, 11:13:56 AMAccording to those texts the federal government has not made an official decision yet. Might be a mere formality though ... 
@ Christian,
Didier Reynders indeed has said that it is still premature to speak of a closing. But what does this man really know, anyway? Most Belgians are unswervingly convinced that Didier has lost his touch with reality over a year ago .... ;)
Regards,
a3v1
Over half a century of experience as a coin collector.
-------------
Money is like body fat: If there's too much of it, it always is in the wrong places.

chrisild

In the latest issue of MuntInfo/MonnaieInfo, mint director Romain Coenen announces that he will retire, and that his successor will be Serge Lesens.
(Dutch) http://treasury.fgov.be/intermunt/MUNTINFO/MI-49-NL.pdf
(French) http://treasury.fgov.be/intermunt/MUNTINFO/MI-49-FR.pdf

Now why post this here? Coenen writes about Lesens who, quote, "als product manager voorlopig ook de taken van muntmeester zal uitoefenen." Or in French, "qui, outre sa fonction de product manager, exercera aussi conjointement
et provisoirement celle de directeur." Admittedly I have no idea whether it is normal in Belgium to first have a temporary mintmaster; for the Dutch mint I would find this relatively normal. Just wondering whether this "voorlopig"/"provisoirement" has anything to do with the future of the Belgian mint ...

Christian