Friday, September 21, 2012

Malta's Independence Day

Prime Minister George Borg Olivier showing the documents of Independence

Malta was ruled over the past 2 millennia by the Romans, the Arabs, the Normans, the Spanish, the Knights of St John, the French and the British. Following a Maltese constitutional referendum in 1964, approved by 54.5% of voters, on September 21st 1964, Malta became an independent state as a Constitutional Monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as its Head of State. 

Plaque that commemorates Malta's Independence, which translated, means: "The Maltese people rejoice with the victory of Independence of these islands, today September 21st, 1964."

So September 21st every year is celebrated as Independence Day or Jum l-Indipendenza in Maltese, this year being the 48th anniversary. One can say that both Labor Leader Dom Mintoff, who died a month a ago, as well as Nationalist Leader and Prime Minister George Borg Olivier contributed towards the attainment of Independence.

Set of stamps issued for Malta's Independence in 1964
On December 1st 1964, Malta was admitted to the United Nations. In 1965 Malta joined the Council of Europe, and in 1970, Malta signed an Association Treaty with the European Community. Malta was declared a republic on December 13th, 1974 and in 2004, Malta finally became the 25th nation to join the European Union.

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