Cyprus and Malta
In this issue, The Courier highlights exceptionally two European Union countries – Cyprus and Malta – to mark their entry into the eurozone. On 1 January this year both adopted the euro.
Malta and Cyprus also have a lot in common, starting with their small but open, flourishing and sound economies that enabled them to quickly fulfil the EU’s convergence criteria, notably relating to growth, inflation rates and the government debt. The two countries joined the European Exchange Rate Mechanism on 2 May 2005. On 16 May 2007, the European Commission and European Central Bank gave them the green light to join the eurozone, a decision formalised at the 11 July Council. Both countries had a strong and stable currency at the time, the Cypriot pound (€1 = CYP0.5853) and the Maltese lira (€1 = MTL0.4293).
Cyprus and Malta are also old European countries, lying on the fringes of the continent and with a long history of being permeable to the territories and culture of Africa and the Orient.