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EU Finance Ministers Approve Cypriot, Maltese Adoption of Euro

European Union finance ministers have given Cyprus and Malta the final go-ahead to adopt the single European currency, the euro, on New Year's Day.

The ministers, meeting in Brussels, set an exchange rate to the euro for both currencies (0.585274 for the Cypriot pound and 0.4293 for the Maltese lira).

The two countries now have less than six months to complete preparations for the changeover.

The action will bring to 15 the number of countries using the single European currency.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.