Malta. President Ugu Mifsud Bonnici disbanded the parliament in September, announcing new elections until October 26 due to a request from the ruling Nationalist Party. Prime Minister Edward Fenech-Adami wanted new elections to accelerate EU membership; The Nationalist Party was for an entry while the opposition, the Labor Party (Malta Labor Party, MLP), was opposed. However, Alfred Sant and the Labor Party won the election with 50.72% of the vote compared to 47.7% for the Nationalist Party, a margin of about 7,600 votes. The victory was surprising as unemployment was low 3% and economic growth 9% in 1995. The new government withdrew in 1990 the application for membership in the EU.
The pope visited Malta in May 2001, and 200,000 Maltese – half the population – followed the salvation of 3 Catholics – 2 monks and 1 nun. The ceremony was conducted outdoors and was the end of the Pope’s visit to the country. had completed a pilgrimage in the footsteps of the apostle Paul.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG: What does MT stand for? In the field of geography, this two letter acronym means Malta. Check this to see its other meanings in English and other 35 languages.
The issue of inclusion in the EU was hotly debated and resolved by a referendum on March 8, 2003. Here, 53.6% voted for inclusion and the country was admitted into the EU on May 1, 2004. The admission negotiations decided that Malta should receive DKK 272 million. Euro from the EU in the period 2004-06 and will contribute DKK 178 million. The economic advantage for Malta was one of the main arguments in the referendum.
In the first 10 months of 2005, the country received 1500 applications for asylum from Africans. The number was not insignificant for a country with only 400,000 residents, and it therefore asked for help from other European countries. The immigrants led to the formation of an extremely right-wing party, the Republican National Alliance, which conducted the first demonstration in the country’s history against immigration. Acc. European legislation requires immigrants to seek asylum in the first country they come to, but most of the immigrants – Somalis, Liberians, Sudanese and others – accidentally landed on the island of Malta while trying to reach the continent. Most immigrants felt they had fallen into a trap between Europe and Africa and most just wanted to move on.
In July 2007, the EU decided that Malta and Cyprus met the conditions for the introduction of the Euro as the currency with effect from 1 January 2008. The criteria were: control over inflation, interest rates, government debt and monetary stability.
On January 1, 2008, Malta was admitted to the Eurozone and the pound was replaced by €.
In the March 2008 parliamentary elections, the ruling Nationalist Party fell 2½% to 49.3% of the vote and won only narrowly over the Labor party, which gained 48.8%. Prime Minister Gonzi could thus continue on the post.
George Abela became the country’s new president in April 2009 after a government recommendation. It was the first time in the country’s history that a government recommended a member of the opposition to this post.
Malta has a very restrictive policy towards refugees and was criticized several times in 2009 by human rights organizations for not allowing boat refugees to be picked up by ships in international custody to reach Malta.
The global economic crisis hit Malta less severely than the rest of the EU. However, GDP fell by 4% in 2009. Unemployment rose slightly from 6.7% in March 2009 to 6.9% in March 2010, while youth unemployment reached 14.8%.
According to Countryaah.com, the population of Malta in 1996 was 376,785, ranking number 172 in the world. The population growth rate was 0.810% yearly, and the population density was 1177.8000 people per km2.