PRESS RELEASE

Cyprus and Malta join the euro area

1 January 2008

The euro has today been introduced in Cyprus and Malta. The number of EU Member States that use the single European currency has now increased to 15. The European Central Bank (ECB) welcomes this further enlargement of the euro area.

As a result of the adoption of the euro by Cyprus and Malta, the Central Bank of Cyprus and the Central Bank of Malta are now full members of the Eurosystem, with the same rights and obligations as the 13 national central banks of the other EU Member States that have adopted the euro. In accordance with Article 49 of the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank, the Central Bank of Cyprus and the Central Bank of Malta have paid up the remainder of their contributions to the capital of the ECB and have also transferred to the ECB their contributions to the foreign reserve assets of the ECB.

The integration of the Cypriot and Maltese monetary financial institutions (MFIs) into the euro area banking system on 1 January 2008 was already taken into account in the publication of the euro area liquidity needs and in the benchmark allotment on 27 and 28 December 2007. The Cypriot and Maltese counterparties of the Eurosystem will be able to participate in the Eurosystem’s main refinancing operations for the first time on 3 January 2008.

The lists of MFIs located in Cyprus and Malta that are subject to reserve requirements are published on the ECB’s website, as are the lists of the MFIs located in other EU Member States that have adopted the euro. The lists of assets located in Cyprus and Malta that are eligible as collateral for the credit operations of the Eurosystem are also available on the ECB’s website. http://www.ecb.europa.eu

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