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Maltese Lira Currency
The national currency of Malta became the Maltese lire in 1983 replacing the Maltese pound. The British heritage is responsible for preserving the pound symbol (£), though “LM” symbol is frequently used on international basis. “liri” is the plural form of Lira. Malta is a European Union member and has to satisfy the criteria by converting to the euro.
However, the Maltese lira valuation is in the hands of the Exchange Rate Mechanism. Before ERM, the lira was pegged for an exchange rate to a currency basket consisting of the euro, the U.S.dollar and the British Pound Sterling and indeed this assisted in keeping the inflation strictly under control.
The membership of EU has resulted in elimination of import levies on Malta on majority industrial products and is also decreasing the stance on trade matters.
Changeover to Euro
The Maltese lira was replaced as the official currency to the euro at a fixed exchange rate such that 2 EUR= 0.429300 MTL. Maltese lira coins and banknotes have tender status and were in acceptance until 31 January 2008 for cash payments. Maltese liri became convertible without any cost at all the Maltese credit institutions until March 30, 2008.
However, Maltese coins were convertible until 1 February 2010 with Central Bank of Malta and the banknotes are convertible until 31 January 2018.
Maltese lira became the currency from 1972 to 31 December 2007. This was then abbreviated as Lm, but the sign was ₤. Maltese currency was referred to as pound in English. The lira = 100 cents.
The coins denominations are 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 25c, 50c, and LM1. The banknotes denominations are LM2, LM5, LM10, and LM20. Conversely, the euro replaced the Maltese lira on 1 January 2008 as the official currency at fixed exchange rate as 1 euro = 0.429300 MTL.
Maltese coins in euro feature Maltese cross on €1 and €2 coins, while on €0.50, €0.20 and €0.10 coins feature the Maltese Coat of Arms and on the €0.05, €0.02 and €0.01 coins have the Mnajdra Temples. Malta has collectors’ coins from 10 to 50 euro. However, until the Euro introduction in 2008, from 1972 the Maltese Lira was the currency that had replaced the earlier Maltese pound.