Europe :: Malta

Introduction ::Malta

    Great Britain formally acquired possession of Malta in 1814. The island staunchly supported the UK through both world wars and remained in the Commonwealth when it became independent in 1964. A decade later Malta became a republic. Since about the mid-1980s, the island has transformed itself into a freight transshipment point, a financial center, and a tourist destination. Malta became an EU member in May 2004 and began using the euro as currency in 2008.

Geography ::Malta

People and Society ::Malta

Government ::Malta

    conventional long form: Republic of Malta
    conventional short form: Malta
    local long form: Repubblika ta' Malta
    local short form: Malta
    name: Valletta
    geographic coordinates: 35 53 N, 14 30 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
    68 localities (Il-lokalita); Attard, Balzan, Birgu, Birkirkara, Birzebbuga, Bormla, Dingli, Fgura, Floriana, Fontana, Ghajnsielem, Gharb, Gharghur, Ghasri Ghaxaq, Gudja, Gzira, Hamrun, Iklin, Imdina, Imgarr, Imqabba, Imsida, Imtarfa, Isla, Kalkara, Kercem, Kirkop, Lija, Luqa, Marsa, Marsaskala, Marsaxlokk, Mellieha, Mosta, Munxar, Nadur, Naxxar, Paola, Pembroke, Pieta, Qala, Qormi, Qrendi, Rabat, Rabat (Ghawdex), Safi, San Giljan/Saint Julian, San Gwann/Saint John, San Lawrenz/Saint Lawrence, Sannat, San Pawl il-Bahar/Saint Paul's Bay, Santa Lucija/Saint Lucia, Santa Venera/Saint Venera, Siggiewi, Sliema, Swieqi, Tarxien, Ta' Xbiex, Valletta, Xaghra, Xewkija, Xghajra, Zabbar, Zebbug, Zebbug (Ghawdex), Zejtun, Zurrieq
    21 September 1964 (from the UK)
    Independence Day, 21 September (1964); Republic Day, 13 December (1974)
    1964; amended many times
    mixed legal system of English common law and civil law (based on the Roman and Napoleonic civil codes)
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President George ABELA (since 4 April 2009)
    head of government: Prime Minister Joseph MUSCAT (since 11 March 2013)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: president elected by a resolution of the House of Representatives for a five-year term; election last held on 12 January 2009 (next to be held by April 2014); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the president for a five-year term; the deputy prime minister appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister
    election results: George ABELA elected president by the House of Representatives
    unicameral House of Representatives (normally 65 seats; members are elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation by the Single Transferrable Vote (STV) to serve five-year terms; note - the parliament elected in 2013 is composed of 69 seats; when the political party winning an absolute majority of first-count votes (or a plurality of first-count votes in an election where only two parties are represented in parliament) does not win an absolute majority of seats, the constitution provides for the winning party to be awarded additional number of seats in parliament to guarantee it an absolute majority; in the event that more than two parties are represented in parliament, with none acquiring the absolute majority of votes, the party winning the majority of seats prevails
    elections: last held on 9 March 2013 (next to be held by March 2018)
    election results: percent of vote by party - PN 54.8%, PL 43.3%, other 1.9%; seats by party - PN 39, PL 30
    highest court(s): Court of Appeal (consists of 7 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 3 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court judges appointed by the president, usually upon the advice of the prime minister; judges of both courts serve until age 65
    subordinate courts: Court of Criminal Appeal; Civil Court (divided into the General Jurisdiction Section, Family Section, and Voluntary Section); Criminal Court; Court of Magistrates; Gozo Courts (for the islands of Gozo and Comino
    Alternativa Demokratika/Alliance for Social Justice or AD (Green Party) [Michael BRIGUGLIO]
    Labor Party or PL [Joseph MUSCAT]
    Nationalist Party or PN [Lawrence GONZI]
    Alliance of Liberal Democrats Malta (Alleanza Liberali-Demokratika Malta) of ALDM (for divorce, abortion, gay marriage, women's rights)
    Together for a Better Environment (Flimkien Ghal-Ambjent Ahjar) or FAA (pro-environment)
    other: environmentalists
    Australia Group, C, CD, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina (observer), UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador Joseph COLE
    chancery: 2017 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 462-3611 through 3612
    FAX: [1] (202) 387-5470
    consulate(s): New York
    chief of mission: Ambassador Gina ABERCROMBIE-WINSTANLEY
    embassy: Ta' Qali National Park, Attard, ATD 4000
    mailing address: 5800 Valetta Place, Dulles, VA 20189
    telephone: [356] 2561 4000
    FAX: [356] 2124 3229
    two equal vertical bands of white (hoist side) and red; in the upper hoist-side corner is a representation of the George Cross, edged in red; according to legend, the colors are taken from the red and white checkered banner of Count Roger of Sicily who removed a bi-colored corner and granted it to Malta in 1091; an uncontested explanation is that the colors are those of the Knights of Saint John who ruled Malta from 1530 to 1798; in 1942, King George VI of the United Kingdom awarded the George Cross to the islanders for their exceptional bravery and gallantry in World War II; since independence in 1964, the George Cross bordered in red has appeared directly on the white field
    Maltese cross
    name: "L-Innu Malti" (The Maltese Anthem)

    lyrics/music: Dun Karm PSAILA/Robert SAMMUT
    note: adopted 1945; the anthem is written in the form of a prayer

Economy ::Malta

    Malta - the smallest economy in the euro zone - produces only about 20% of its food needs, has limited fresh water supplies, and has few domestic energy sources. Malta's geographic position between Europe and North Africa makes it a target for irregular migration, which has strained Malta's political and economic resources. Malta''s fertility rate is below the EU average, and population growth in recent years has largely been from immigration, putting increasing pressure on the pension system. Malta adopted the euro on 1 January 2008. Malta''s economy is dependent on foreign trade, manufacturing, and tourism, and was hurt by the global economic downturn. Malta has low unemployment relative to other European countries, and growth has recovered since the 2009 recession. Malta''s financial services industry has grown in recent years and it has avoided contagion from the European financial crisis, largely because its debt is mostly held domestically and its banks have low exposure to the sovereign debt of peripheral European countries. Malta reduced its deficit below 3 percent of GDP, leading the EU to dismiss its official excessive deficit procedure against Malta in 2012.
    $11.45 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    $11.35 billion (2011 est.)
    $11.16 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $8.689 billion (2012 est.)
    0.8% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    1.7% (2011 est.)
    2.9% (2010 est.)
    $27,500 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    $27,300 (2011 est.)
    $26,900 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    12.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    12.8% of GDP (2011 est.)
    12% of GDP (2010 est.)
    household consumption: 60.4%
    government consumption: 21.5%
    investment in fixed capital: 14.6%
    investment in inventories: -2.2%
    exports of goods and services: 101.9%
    imports of goods and services: -96.1%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 1.9%
    industry: 17.2%
    services: 80.9% (2010 est.)
    potatoes, cauliflower, grapes, wheat, barley, tomatoes, citrus, cut flowers, green peppers; pork, milk, poultry, eggs
    tourism, electronics, ship building and repair, construction, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, footwear, clothing, tobacco, aviation services, financial services, information technology services
    184,500 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    agriculture: 1.5%
    industry: 24.7%
    services: 73.9% (2011)
    6.4% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    6.4% (2011 est.)
    15.4% (2011)
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    27.4 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    26 (2007)
    revenues: $3.52 billion
    expenditures: $3.81 billion (2012 est.)
    40.5% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    -3.3% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    72.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    70.3% of GDP (2011 est.)
    note: Malta reports public debt at nominal value outstanding at the end of the year, according to guidelines set out in the Maastricht Treaty for general government gross debt; the data include the following categories of government liabilities (as defined in ESA95): currency and deposits (AF.2), securities other than shares excluding financial derivatives (AF.3, excluding AF.34), and loans (AF.4); general government comprises the central government, state government, local government and social security funds
    calendar year
    2.4% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    2.7% (2011 est.)
    1.75% (31 December 2011)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    1.75% (31 December 2010)
    note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area
    4.7% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    4.76% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $5.271 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    $5.095 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    note: see entry for the European Union for money supply in the euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 17 members of the EMU; individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders
    $12.66 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    $12.53 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $13.22 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    $12.94 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $3.424 billion (31 December 2011)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    $2.399 billion (31 December 2010)
    $1.982 billion (31 December 2009)
    -$221.2 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    -$268.8 million (2011 est.)
    $4.044 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    $4.139 billion (2011 est.)
    machinery and mechanical appliances; mineral fuels, oils and products; pharmaceutical products; printed books and newspapers; aircraft/spacecraft and parts; toys, games, and sports equipment
    Germany 14.6%, France 9.9%, Italy 6.8%, Libya 5.5%, UK 5% (2012)
    $5.368 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    $5.576 billion (2011 est.)
    mineral fuels, oils and products; electrical machinery; aircraft/spacecraft and parts thereof; machinery and mechanical appliances; plastic and other semi-manufactured goods; vehicles and parts thereof
    Italy 39.6%, France 6.9%, UK 6.9%, Germany 5.3% (2012)
    $704.9 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    $515.5 million (31 December 2011 est.)
    $45.77 billion (31 December 2012)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    $43.16 billion (31 December 2011)
    $17.25 billion (31 December 2010)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    $9.019 billion (31 December 2009)
    $1.213 billion (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    euros (EUR) per US dollar -
    0.7778 (2012 est.)
    0.7185 (2011 est.)
    0.755 (2010 est.)
    0.7198 (2009 est.)
    0.6827 (2008 est.)

Energy ::Malta

Communications ::Malta

    232,300 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    521,700 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 166
    general assessment: automatic system featuring submarine cable and microwave radio relay between islands
    domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular subscribership exceeds 180 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 356; submarine cable connects to Italy; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2011)
    2 publicly owned TV stations, Television Malta (TVM) broadcasting nationally plus an educational channel; several privately owned national television stations, two of which are owned by political parties; Italian and British broadcast programs are available; multi-channel cable and satellite TV services are available; publicly owned radio broadcaster operates 1 station; roughly 20 commercial radio stations (2011)
    14,754 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    240,600 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 137

Transportation ::Malta

    1 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 226
    total: 1
    over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
    2 (2013)
    total: 3,096 km
    country comparison to the world: 164
    paved: 2,710 km
    unpaved: 386 km (2005)
    total: 1,650
    country comparison to the world: 4
    by type: bulk carrier 544, cargo 351, carrier 1, chemical tanker 324, container 117, liquefied gas 36, passenger 50, passenger/cargo 18, petroleum tanker 160, refrigerated cargo 7, roll on/roll off 22, specialized tanker 2, vehicle carrier 18
    foreign-owned: 1,437 (Angola 7, Azerbaijan 1, Belgium 7, Bermuda 15, Bulgaria 8, Canada 5, China 6, Croatia 6, Cyprus 32, Denmark 34, Egypt 1, Estonia 16, Finland 3, France 8, Germany 135, Greece 469, Hong Kong 4, India 3, Iran 48, Ireland 4, Israel 3, Italy 45, Japan 5, Kuwait 3, Latvia 8, Lebanon 6, Libya 5, Luxembourg 3, Malaysia 1, Monaco 3, Netherlands 3, Norway 96, Oman 5, Poland 21, Portugal 3, Romania 7, Russia 45, Saudi Arabia 2, Singapore 4, Slovenia 4, South Korea 2, Spain 8, Sweden 1, Switzerland 20, Syria 4, Turkey 233, UAE 1, UK 21, Ukraine 29, US 34)
    registered in other countries: 2 (Panama 2) (2010)
    major seaports: Marsaxlokk (Malta Freeport), Valletta
    container ports (TEUs): Marsaxlokk (2,360,000)

Military ::Malta

Transnational Issues ::Malta