Greece – Ελλάδα
The €2 coin depicts a mythological scene from a mosaic in Sparta (3rd century AD), showing the young princess Europa being abducted by Zeus in the shape of a bull. The edge lettering is ‘ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΑ *’ (HELLENIC REPUBLIC *).
The €1 coin reproduces the design of the Athenian owl that appeared on the ancient 4-drachma coin (5th century BC).
The 10, 20 and 50-cent coins depict three different Greek statesmen: Rigas-Fereos (Velestinlis) (1757-1798), a forerunner of the Greek enlightenment and confederation, and a visionary of Balkan liberation from Ottoman rule (10 cents); Ioannis Capodistrias (1776-1831), first Governor of Greece (1830-1831) after the Greek War of Independence (1821-1827) (20 cents), and Eleftherios Venizelos (1864-1936), a pioneer in social reform who played a key role in modernising the Greek state (50 cents).
The 1, 2 and 5-cent coins feature typical Greek ships: the Athenian trireme (5th century BC) on the 1-cent coin; the corvette used during the Greek War of Independence (1821-1827) on the 2-cent coin, and the modern tanker on the 5-cent coin.
The Ministry of National Economy and the Bank of Greece chose the winning designs, made by sculptor Georges Stamatopoulos.