Can lire still be converted into euro?
The following banknotes can still be converted, as long as it can be proved that the request for conversion was made between 6 December 2011 and 28 February 2012:
- 500,000 '1997 series'
- 100,000 '1983 series'
- 100,000 '1994 series'
- 50,000 '1992 series'
- 10,000 '1984 series'
- 5,000 '1985 series'
- 2,000 '1990 series'
- 1,000 '1990 series'
What do we mean by a 'request for conversion'?
It has to be a written request, in one of the following forms:
- a signed written request
- by PEC
- by e-mail
An alternative to a written request is a declaration from a Bank of Italy branch that the conversion could not be made between 6 December 2011 and 28 February 2012, provided that it is signed by a Bank staff member.
Documents other than those listed above will be assessed in terms of reliability by the Bank of Italy on a case-by-case basis.
The Bank of Italy branches open to the public are those of Agrigento, Ancona, Aosta, Bari, Bologna, Bolzano, Brescia, Cagliari, Campobasso, Catania, Catanzaro, Florence, Forlì, Genoa, L'Aquila, Lecce, Livorno, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Perugia, Pescara, Potenza, Reggio Calabria, Rome Succursale, Salerno, Sassari, Turin, Trento, Trieste, Venice and Verona.
What happens if no request for conversion was made between 6 December 2011 and 28 February 2012?
Under current legislation (see the section 'legal framework') it is not possible to convert lire.
The Bank of Italy transferred the equivalent value of the lire still in circulation to the State (a total of around €1.2 billion).
On 28 February 2002, banknotes and coins in lire ceased to be legal tender. The deadline for converting non-lapsed lira banknotes was set for 28 February 2012 (Law 96/1997, Article 3.1).
On 6 December 2011, the legislature brought forward the deadline for terminating the redemption of the lira from 28 February 2012 to 6 December 2011, with immediate effect (Decree Law 201/2011, Article 26, containing 'Urgent measures for growth, equity and the consolidation of the public accounts').
On 7 October 2015, the Constitutional Court declared the legislation to be unlawful in bringing forward the deadline from the original one (Decision 216/2015 published in the Gazzetta Ufficiale of 11/11/2015).
On 21 January 2016, the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), implementing the ruling of the Constitutional Court and to guarantee the certainty and transparency of exchange operations, required applicants to provide proof of their application to exchange lira currency between 6 December 2011 and 28 February 2012, specifying the amount.
On 22 January 2016, the Bank of Italy branches open to the public began to make lira-euro exchanges, in compliance with the instructions issued by the MEF.
Some 258 exchanges were made from 22 January 2016 to 31 July 2019, for a total of €2,640,485.23.
Each of the other countries that have adopted the euro has decided whether or not to set a deadline for the conversion of their previous currencies into euro. The deadlines adopted by the various countries are published on the European Central Bank's website. (https://www.ecb.europa.eu/euro/exchange/html/index.it.html)
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