Malta’s Philharmonic Orchestra played the EU anthem as part of the island’s official celebrations marking its adoption of the Euro. The country became the smallest member of the euro zone on January 1st, but yesterday it played host to European heads of state and ministers in a formal recognition of the ending of the use of the Maltese Lira.
EU Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso: “The Euro is not just a currency,it’s a symbol, a very powerful symbol of our common heritage – our shared values and success of European integration in bringing the peoples and nations of Europe together and Europe is above all a process of values, common ends, values of freedom and solidarity.So I want to end by saying welcome to the Euro area, congratulations Malta.”
Malta’s President Fenech Adami and Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi are expected to take advantage of the event to hold numerous bilateral meetings with various EU leaders.
The Euro-zone states are Malta’s most important trading partners and euro adoption is seen as a step towards creating a stronger and more sustainable economic growth for the former British colony.