Malta

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GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Population - Local time - Languages - Religion - Political context - Climate - Tourism - Food


Population


Total population (millions): 0.4
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Urban population: 92%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Average annual population growth: 0.5%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Surface area (km²) : 316


Population origin

95% of the population is native to the island. Main foreign communities living in Malta are the British and the Italians. With a density of 1,488 inhabitants per sq. km, Malta is one of the countries in the world having highest population density.



Main Cities Population
Birkirkara 21 775
Mosta 18 676
Qormi 16 576
Zabbar 14 694
San Pawl il-Bahar 13 619
Sliema 12 993



Local time

It is  %T:%M %A  in Valletta (GMT+1 in winter, GMT+2 in summer).
Summer time from March to October



Languages
The two official languages are Maltese and English. Maltese is a language of semitic origin written in Latin alphabets. A large number of Maltese people also speak Italian.

Free translation tools

AboutMalta.com
Basic English-Maltese dictionary

AboutMalta.com
Basic Maltese grammar

Survol.com
English-Maltese online dictionary





Religion
Religious practises : Majority of the population is catholic. Other religions constitute less than 5% of country's population.


Political context

Malta is a Republic state based on parliamentary democracy. Malta (official name: Republic of Malta) was granted independence from U.K. in 1964 and is currently the smallest European Union country both in terms of population and area. 
President is the chief of state and is elected by the parliament for a five-year term. Prime Minister is the head of the government and enjoys the executive powers which include implementation of law and running the day-to-day affairs of the country . The leader of the majority party or majority coalition is appointed as the Prime Minister by the President to serve a five-year term. The Cabinet is appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.
The legislature in Malta is unicameral. The parliament consists of the House of Representatives having 65 seats; its members are elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve five-year terms. In case a political party wins an absolute majority of votes but does not have a majority of seats, then that party is given additional seats to ensure a parliamentary majority. President can dissolve the parliament on the advice of the Prime Minister or alternatively parliament can dismiss a government by passing a no-confidence motion. The people of Malta have considerable political rights.
The judiciary in Malta is independent. The main source of the law is the constitution of 1964 (amended many times). The country's legal system is based on English common law and Roman civil law. Malta accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction but with reservations. Malta being a member of the European Union, the national law in the country needs to comply with the conditions of the Community legislation. Maltese and English are the two judicial languages used in the country.
Malta is ruled by law. Foreign nationals can expect an impartial trial form the country's judicial system. The corruption is limited; however certain degree of corruption exits in the country's judicial system.


Major political parties

Since World War II, the political culture in Malta has been mainly dominated by a two-party system. These two political parties are : PN (Nationalist Party) which is a Christian democratic party, and MLP (Malta Labour Party) which is a social democratic party. Another party worth mentioning is AD (Democratic Alternative) which is a Green political party.


Major political leaders

President: Edward FENECH ADAMI (since April 2004) - PN
Prime Minister: Lawrence GONZI (since March 2004) - PN


Next political election dates

Presidential: April 2009
House of Representatives: August 2008




Climate

 

 

The type of climate in Malta is Mediterranian: summers are hot, dry and very sunny. Winters are mild with a few short and pleasant spells. The average temperature is 11 degrees in winter and 29 degrees in summer. The rainy season is between November and February but the annual rainfall remains low.

 


Tourism


Number of visitors in Malta 2004 2005 2006 World rank
Number of visitors (1000) 1,156 1,171 ..
Source : World Tourisme Organization, data available in November 2005

 

Tourist sites
The Maltese archipelago consists of five islands, Malta being the largest one. The 2nd largest is the island of Gozo and consists of around 30,000 inhabitants.
Malta is particularly known for its linguistic and cultural heritage. The island offers the richness of its historical inheritance and capitavating colours of omnipresent stone colour of honey.
The city of Valette is listed as the World Heritage city in UNESCO. The fortress city has a rich historical past.
The festivities and religious processions have an important place in the lives of Maltese people.
Amongst the other key tourist sites of the island, we can cite the city of Mdina, the temples of Hagiar Kim, the neighbouring islands of Gozo and Comino, the Cottonera and the church of Mosta.



Food


Traditional dishes
The Maltese cuisine is mediterranean and strongly influenced by Sicilia. Garlic, olive oil and aromatic herbs play an important role in the culinary preparations.
The specialties of the island are the torta-tal-lampuki, a sort of gilthead bream prepared in croûte, the torta-tal-fenek, rabbit prepared in croûte and the qubbajt, one of the most popular desserts.


Last modified on December 2006

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