May 28, 2015 / 2:47 PM / 2 years ago

Greece, facing euro zone exit fears, designs new two-euro coin

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece, beset by fears its economic troubles could force it out of the 19-member euro zone, has won a competition to design the logo of a commemorative two-euro coin.

The design by George Stamatopoulos, an engraver at the Greek central bank, depicts 12 people forming a human chain around the European Union flag - 12 gold stars on a blue background - marking its 30th anniversary.

Stamatopoulos also won the competition in 2009, to celebrate 10 years of Economic and Monetary Union.

Long-considered Europe's problem child, Greece has tottered close to bankruptcy since its economic crisis broke out in late 2009 and nearly crashed out of the common currency bloc in 2012.

Fears it may leave the euro have resurfaced in recent months as Greece's new, leftist-led government struggles to strike a deal with its European and IMF lenders that will unlock cash under a 240 billion euro bailout keeping it afloat.

More than 100,000 people across the euro zone voted in the online competition, where Stamatopoulos's design was among the five pre-selected by a jury, alongside Spain, Slovenia, Italy and Cyprus.

About 75 million coins will circulate in euro zone countries starting in July.

Reporting by Karolina Tagaris; editing by Ralph Boulton

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