20 franc gold coin of Emperor Napoléon III. In 1865 France co-established the Latin Monetary Union. Its central aim was to encourage trade by unifying the currencies of France, Switzerland, Italy and Belgium. Whilst national currency names were kept, coins were issued with the same weight and fineness.Greece joined the Latin Monetary Union (LMU) in 1867. Other countries including Romania and Spain followed the LMU standard without officially being part of the union. By the First World War the union had ceased to function and was officially dissolved in 1927.