Two weeks ago, Ministreu of Finance and Progressive Party leader Owen Edwards announced a “road map and public survey” regarding the long-planned coin project, which has been in the offing for many years and under many governments.  Privately, however, many Talossans are skeptical that this year will finally be the year that coins happen.  The idea was first initiated under Seneschal Samuhel Tecladeir of the Conservative Loyalists on June 25th of 2006/XXIX, by Ministreu of Finance Nikϋ Spyropoulos - which makes this the seventh year the nation has been waiting for its coins.  This is M. Edwards’ ninth month in office, and with only two months to go in this Government, time is running out on yet another government attempt. “road map and public survey” announced  that the Indiegogo crowdsourcing website would be used as a funding platform, citing its “ease of use” and flexibility, and requested that interested Talossans state whether they would prefer ceramic or metal coins.  M. Edwards also posed the question of where the coins might be produced, considering whether it made more sense to mint them in Europe or the United States.  No decisions or firm plans were announced, beyond the use of Indiegogo.

Coins have long been a solid but difficult goal for Talossan officials.  Producing metal coins represents a significant up-front cost of hundreds of louise for the nation, with all the risk that entails, but few citizens have expressed any enthusiasm for the lower-cost alternatives that have been suggested (including plastic tokens or wooden discs with vinyl decals).  Discussions were especially intense during 2007/XXX and 2008/XXXI, but soon turned to the fact that former King Robert I still held copyright over the word “Talossa” in many of the countries that could produce coins.  As a consequence, the effort was redirected to producing stamps.

Once an issue of stamps were printed and offered for sale by Minister of Finance Istefan Perþonest under Seneschal Çesli da Chilseu of the RUMP, though, the nation’s thoughts returned to the tantalizing prospect of actually, finally, getting coins minted.

In the two and a half terms of government since, however, there has been little progress.  M. Perþonest had worked with others to finalize a design and plans for six months, which showed serious promise after his success with the stamps, but resigned early during the term of Seneschal Glüc da Dhi after a government finance bill meant to finalize the plans failed to pass in the Ziu.  The bill passed the next month after slight changes, but M. Perþonest was already gone and had been replaced by current M. Edwards.

One question might be how much of the blame for the continued hold-up should be laid at the feet of the current ministreu.  M. Edwards pointed to the successful passage of the finance bill as a significant accomplishment, and suggested that the end of the Da Dhi Government, which arrived a month early after a failed Vote of Confidence in the Cosa, stopped him from making any progress.

Others have been more direct in their criticism, especially last term.  The Da Dhi Government, M. Edwards included, was the subject of considerable comment over its lack of activity.  One Beric’ht headline of that term read, “Distain Resigns Amid Coalition Infighting.”  There was also serious dissension in the ranks of the Government itself: Ministra of Culture Dame Miestrâ Schivâ, UrN (still in that office, as well as the office of Distain) was moved during the last campaign to “break Cabinet confidence” to publicly censure the Government, saying, “I know you've done your best and I know you've had other commitments... but you knew this was coming, and this is why you should not have been Seneschal, and should have resigned once you realised you couldn't do the job properly.”

M. Edwards has personally escaped much criticism, however, and that appears unlikely to change.  Officials in the Government unanimously expressed their confidence in him in the strongest terms.  Seneschal da Schir stated unequivocally, "I for all am very pleased that the Minister of Finance is taking steps to make this happen. A lot of Talossans are interested in this and have announced that they will buy them once they are available. Since it seems that there's a consensus towards metal coins, and proposals to double their face value to two louises to cope with the higher cost per single coin, the actual production should start once we settle down any remaining doubts over the distribution hub as stated by MinFin the Rt. Hon. Edwards in his recent Wittenberg thread. Therefore, I'm confident we'll be able to deliver the coins before the 47th Cosa ends."

M. Edwards himself would not commit to delivering the coins by that date, but was firm in his determination to advance the project near to completion, stating that even if circumstances prevented him from distributing the coins by end of the Cosa, "the order will at the very least have been made, and therefore be distributable by the next government."  When combined with his recent rectification of the Kingdom's accounts, which has yielded an unexpected bonus to Talossa's coffers, M. Edwards might be ending a lackluster time in office with a flurry of activity that, if successful, would make his service a significant success.


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