Malta has a number of natural harbours which have given the island strategic importance in the Mediterranean. In effect, the power controlling Malta has always been in a position to influence events in the Mediterranean.
For this reason, the islands were occupied by the Phoenicians, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Arabs, the Normans, the Swabians, the Angevins, the Aragonese, the Castillians, the Order of St. John, the French and the British. In 1964 Malta finally gained its Independence.
English had replaced Italian as the language of culture, with Maltese becoming the national language of the reborn Island State which became a Republic in 1974. In May 2004, Malta became a member of the European Union, and in January 2008 a member of the Euro zone.
As a result, the Maltese society has been molded by centuries of foreign rule, and through the ages have developed their own unique character and culture.
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Oh là là!