Some people around the Maltese islands might have millions worth of these old 20 Maltese liri stashed somewhere underneath a sofa and unless they change them to euro currency soon they might lose them forever. The timesofmalta.com website this morning reported that up to €38.9 million in old Maltese lira banknotes were not yet exchanged for the new euro currency according to data published by the Central Bank of Malta. However it is not too late as there is still time until January 2018 to exchange them.
The Maltese lira was the currency of Malta from 1825 until 31 December 2007. The lira was abbreviated as Lm, although the traditional ₤ sign was often used locally.
In English, the currency was still frequently called the pound because of the past usage of British currency on the islands.
The euro replaced the Maltese lira as the official currency of Malta on 1 January 2008 at the irrevocable fixed exchange rate of 0.429300 MTL per 1 euro.
Banknotes issued by the Government of Malta and then by the Central Bank of Malta were written in English up to 1972, with the denomination pounds (or shillings). From 1973 to 1985, they were written in Maltese on the obverse using the denomination liri, and in English on the reverse using pounds. From 1986 to 2007, Maltese and liri were used on both sides.
Although using British coins, Malta did not decimalize with the UK in 1971. Instead, it adopted a decimal system in 1972, based on the lira (equal to the pound) subdivided into 1000 mils or 100 cents. The name “lira” was used on banknotes beginning in 1973, initially jointly with “pound”, and exclusively on both coins and banknotes since 1986. Mils were removed from circulation in 1994.
On entry into the European Union, Malta agreed to adopt the euro. The lira was replaced by the euro on 1 January 2008, as part of the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union Euro changeover.
The Maltese lira was replaced by the euro as the official currency of Malta at the irrevocable fixed exchange rate of 0.429300 MTL per 1 EUR. However, Maltese lira banknotes and coins continued to have legal tender status and were accepted for cash payments until 31 January 2008. Maltese liri were convertible free of charge at all Maltese credit institutions until 30 March 2008. Maltese coins were convertible at the Central Bank of Malta until 1 February 2010, and banknotes remain convertible until 31 January 2018.