World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide

Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

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Malta Travelling Guide
Malta Travelling Guide

General background: 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. Over the last 15 years, the island has become a freight transshipment point, financial center, and tourist destination. It is an official candidate for EU membership.

Area comparative: Slightly less than twice the size of Washington, DC.

Climate: Mediterranean with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers

Terrain: Mostly low, rocky, flat to dissected plains; many coastal cliffs

Population: 397,499 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: Maltese (descendants of ancient Carthaginians and Phoenicians, with strong elements of Italian and other Mediterranean stock)

Religions: Roman Catholic 91%

Language: Maltese (official), English (official)

Government type: Republic

Capital: Valletta

Legal system: Based on English common law and Roman civil law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations.

Economic overview: Major resources are limestone, a favorable geographic location, and a productive labor force. Malta produces only about 20% of its food needs, has limited freshwater supplies, and has no domestic energy sources. The economy is dependent on foreign trade, manufacturing (especially electronics and textiles), and tourism. Malta is privatizing state-controlled firms and liberalizing markets in order to prepare for membership in the European Union and is expected to complete EU accession negotiations in 2002. The island is divided politically, however, over the question of joining the EU.

Communication/Telephone system: Automatic system satisfies normal requirements.

Places of interest: Travelers can enjoy a refreshing balance of convenience and unvarnished local charm, and can get comfort for considerably less than at many comparable Mediterranean destinations.

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