Cyprus and Malta to adopt the euro

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The eurozone will grow from 13 to 15 members.

The European Union's Council of Ministers has approved the entry of Mediterranean islands Cyprus and Malta into the Eurozone. They will begin to use the euro from January 1, 2008.

European finance ministers (collectively known as Ecofin) set fixed rates of one euro to 0.585274 Cypriot pounds and 0.4293 to the Maltese lira. Slovenia was the first new country to join, which adopted it in January of 2007. No other country has yet met the strict entry criteria into the Eurozone, including inflation, which prevented the entry of states such as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The news comes amid a rising value of the euro, on the same day it reached a new all-time high of 1.37 U.S. dollars.