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Maltese Lira

The Maltese Lira, known in the Maltese language as the Lira Maltija, is the currency of Malta. It was previously known as the Maltese pound until 1983, which was on a par with the British pound sterling until the late 1960s, since when the Maltese Lira has traditionally been worth around £1.60 sterling. After the Kuwaiti Dinar, it is the second highest valued currency unit in the world being worth US$3.11006 as of January 3, 2005.

Divided into 100 cents, the Lira (plural Liri) is abbreviated as LM, although the traditional ₤ sign may still be seen locally. The abbreviation "MTL" is also sometimes used.

Initially, the cent was further subdivided into 10 mils. The first decimal coinage contained the following denominations: 2 mils, 3 mils, 5 mils (these three minted in aluminum), 1 cent (bronze), 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 50 cents (cupronickel). The 25 cent coin was introduced in June, 1975 to commemorate Malta's becoming a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations on December 13, 1974. The 1 Lira coin was introduced on May 19, 1986 replacing the former banknote [1]

Coins in circulation [2]

  • 1 cent
  • 5 cents
  • 10 cents
  • 25 cents
  • 50 cents
  • 1 Lira

Banknotes in circulation [3]

  • 2 Liri
  • 5 Liri
  • 10 Liri
  • 20 Liri

Malta's entry into the European Union means that the lira will be replaced by the Euro, by 2008 at the earliest, as part of the EMU II process which is intended to bring all 10 EU members that joined in 2004 into the Euro by 2014 at the latest [4]. However, Malta needs to meet some tough fiscal criteria before it can be admitted to the Euro.

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