Malta

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History

History

Malta, in the heart of the Mediterranean, is a melting pot of civilisations with a history stretching back thousands of years. The country has been inhabited since around 5200 BC and a significant prehistoric civilisation existed on the islands prior to the arrival of the Phoenicians who named the main island Malat , meaning safe haven. Later the islands were for centuries the seat of the Order of Knights of the Hospital of St John and then part of the British Empire.

In 1798, the French under Napoleon took the island on 12 June, without resistance, when the Grand Master of the Order capitulated after deciding that the island could not be defended against the opposing French naval force.

French rule lasted a little over 2 years, until they surrendered to the British Royal Navy, under Admiral Nelson's command, in September 1800. Great Britain formally acquired possession of Malta in 1814. The island staunchly supported the UK through both World Wars.

Malta gained independence from Britain in 1964 and is currently a member of the European Union which it joined in 2004.
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Source: http://europa.eu/about-eu/countries/member-countries/malta/index_en.htm