Welcome New Year, Welcome Euro (Ewro)

After so many adverts, press conferences and so many postal shoots that if you tend to use them as fuel for your fireplace you will have enough quantity to keep you warm for your next 25years, finally the E day is here. As from 1st January 2008 Malta will join the Euro Zone. I'm not saying this because I'm Maltese but I do think that our coins are some of the nicest around and I do believe that this is another positive step for my country.

In Maltese the new currency will be called and written ewro whereas the cents will be centezmu for a single cent and centezmi when it is in plural form. The one and two-euro coins have the cross of the Knights of Malta, also known as the Maltese Cross.

The Maltese cross is identified as the symbol of an order of Christian warriors known as the or Knights of Malta. The cross is eight-pointed and has the form of four "V"-shaped arms joined together at their bases, so that each arm has two points. Its design is based on crosses used since the First Crusade. The eight points are said to symbolize the chivalric virtues:





Glory and honour

Contempt of death

Helpfulness towards the poor and the sick

Respect for the church

The middle denominations have the coat of arms of the Republic of Malta, just like all of the liri coins currently do. The present coat of arms which was introduced in 1988 shows a crown that looks like a fortification representing the fortifications of Malta. The Maltese flag in the form of a shield and around it there is an olive and palm branches which symbolizes peace which is traditionally associated to Malta. Beneath there is a ribbon upon which are written the words Repubblika ta' Malta ("Republic of Malta" in Maltese)

The smallest coins have a stylised version of the Mnajdra Temples, one of Malta 's architectural wonders and the oldest free-standing structures in the world

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