The year is is off to a good start for the Maltese treasury which is expected to see an income of 30 million Euro. This represents the amount of Maltese currency which is still in circulation and which, if not exchanged by the end of the month, will see its value becoming a profit for the Government. tvm.com.mt has learned from the Central Bank that the value of Maltese liri still in circulation amounts to €37 million.
Malta has now been a member of the Euro zone for the last ten years. On 1 January 2008, the country stopped using the Maltese lira and began using the Euro instead.
The Malta Central Bank will be closing the last chapter of its ties with the Maltese currency on 31 January. Jesmond Gatt, an official from the Central Bank who is in charge of banking services, explained that this date is the deadline which was given to exchange the 16 million liri worth of Maltese currency (equivalent to €37.3 million). After 31 January, the Central Bank will no longer be exchanging this currency and it will become worthless.
Jesmond Gatt said that “those who have Maltese liri need to bring their ID card with them when exchanging their money. We can also transfer the amount into their account, in which case we will need their IBAN number to effect the transfer.’
Mr Gatt explained that the value of the currency which is not exchanged ends up being a profit for the Central Bank which it will then pass on to the Government. The Maltese liri which are being changed into Euro are those in the fifth series, which is the last currency in circulation. The money is being exchanged in the mornings at the Central Bank, the entrance of which is near the bus terminus or else from the top of the hill leading to Castille Square.
The money which is taken to the Central Bank can be changed into Euros at the established exchange rate of 0.4293.
The Maltese liri notes are being checked for their authenticity and afterwards the Central Bank will destroy this currency since it would have given its equivalent value to the people who would have come with it.
The coins from the Maltese currency have long faded into history. The deadline for exchanging them at the Central Bank was on 2 February 2010. On that day, the value of the coins which had still not been exchanged was over 11 million Euro, equivalent to almost €26 million. After the deadline to exchange the coins had expired,, Jesmond Gatt explained that the Central Bank had issued an international call to sell these Maltese coins for their intrinsic metal value. He aded that they had collected 385 tonnes of coins which were exported to India and Germany where they were recycled, melted down and turned into other products.