Malta celebrates 44 years of independence

Malta was granted independence from the UK, as a Constitutional Monarchy, on 21st September 1964, and this year it celebrates 44 years of independence.

Valletta and Floriana set the scene yesterday for the official celebrations marking the 44th anniversary of Malta's independence from Great Britain in 1964.

A number of activities and festivities marked the 21st of September, which is a national holiday.

Malta was granted independence after 56 per cent of voters taking part in a referendum held on the 2 nd May 1964 agreed to a new constitution.

The country geared up for independence after the talks of integrating with the UK collapsed in 1958. The Mintoff Government resigned and George Borg Olivier refused to form a government of his own.

From 1958 to 1962 Malta was governed directly from the British Colonial Office. The Nationalist Party was returned to government in March 1962 after winning the general elections.

St John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta hosted mass on the anniversary, run by Archbishop Pawlu Cremona.

Following mass, President Fenech Adami together with Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi laid a wreath in front of the Independence Monument in Floriana.

Whilst unemployment in Malta is at its lowest level for some time, the country still faces challenges, such as illegal immigration and sustainable development.

The Maltese Prime Minister announced that in the coming days, Malta will be presenting the EU with a proposal on reallocation of immigrants in other countries. The proposal will be discussed during a meeting between the Ministers for Justice and Local Affairs.

Malta's joining of the EU in 2004 sealed their independence.

When the Knights of St John were exiled from Rhodes in 1530, the King of Spain leased them the Maltese Islands, for the yearly rent of one Maltese falcon. Fast forward five centuries and property on the tiny Mediterranean island is now commanding serious money.

Prices have shot up by 400 per cent over the past fifteen years, with its climate, tax advantages and 6000 years of history attracting a more discerning crowd of second home owner and investor.

Browse Maltese property for sale.