What a Malta-Teaser

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Two-thirds of the public don't know what currency Malta uses.

Post Office research revealed foreign currency confusion today with 61 per cent of UK consumers believing Malta still uses the Maltese lira despite the euro replacing it over 15 months ago. Malta is now part of the Post Office's Confusing Foreign Exchange League - in at number 2 - behind Slovenia but above Cyprus, Austria, Greece and Portugal, all popular European holiday destinations.

This common misconception could end up costing UK holidaymakers dear given sterling's poor current foreign currency exchange rate against the euro. People might book a holiday to Malta thinking it is one of the remaining countries in Europe not in the euro and will therefore get more "bang for the buck" and a bit more travel money to fill their wallets - a mistake that could end up costing unsuspecting holidaymakers dear.

Almost one-third (33 per cent) believe that Turkey, which uses the lira, is in the eurozone. Over one-quarter think the Czech Republic (koruna) and Hungary (forint) are zone members. Worryingly, almost half (46 per cent) of the respondents said Denmark uses the euro.

There's also little awareness about countries that have signed up to the euro. Sixty per cent were unaware that Cyprus joined the eurozone in January 2008, while only 25 per cent knew that Slovakia - rated as one of Europe's cheapest destinations - became a member in January.

Andrew Spice of Post Office® Travel Services said: "Confusion about the most commonly used currencies in Europe is a worrying indication that UK holidaymakers may choose a holiday destination that will cost them more money at just the time when every penny counts. People may be well aware that the foreign currency exchange for sterling has slumped against the euro but they also need to know which countries do and don't use the currency so that they can make an informed decision about where to holiday."

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Melanie Seasons
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