Malta Demographics 1998

By | December 26, 2021


Island state located in the center of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily. The territory, made up of the permanently inhabited islands of Malta, Comino and Gozo, and other smaller islands, measures 316 km ² ; the climate is typically Mediterranean. The population (384. 000 residents, According to an estimate of 1998) descends from the different people that have been encountered in this central point of the Mediterranean sea routes. The official languages ​​are Maltese and English; Italian is well known. The capital is Valletta (9100 residents In 1996) but the most important towns are Birkirkara (21. 551 residents In 1994), Qormi (17. 928 residents), Mosta (15. 857 residents), Sliema (13. 823 residents) E Zabbar (13. 772 residents).

The economy of the archipelago suffers from an extreme weakness of the structures: agriculture does not find sufficient space (it covers just 20 % of local needs) and the potato is the only exported product; there is a lack of energy resources; manufacturing and tertiary activities took a hit when the British government closed its naval bases and military yards in 1979. Industrial activities are mainly assistance and repair of ships, production of machinery, textiles and food. Tourism, which developed considerably after the 1980s, covers around 15 % of jobs and contributes around 21 % to GDP: in 1997 over 1,100,000

tourists visited the islands, and 40 % of them were English. The university, which is very active and of a good standard, also contributes to attracting visitors and procuring foreign currency. The trade balance is chronically passive, with the export of food products, textiles and various materials, and the import of petroleum and consumer products and various capital goods. Commercial relations see the United Kingdom in first place, followed by the United States and Italy. The location and high accessibility, together with the low cost of labor, have favored European investments in the country.


Since 1974, the year of the proclamation of the Republic, the Maltese political system has been characterized by a substantial alternation between the Labor Party and the Nationalist Party, of conservative orientation. During the 1980s, the differences between the two political formations, evident above all in the context of relations with the Catholic Church and foreign policy, were accentuated by the controversies related to the electoral system, according to which it was possible that the majority of votes did not match that of the seats (which happened in 1981 to the detriment of the nationalists). This inconvenience could only be solved in 1987, with the approval of a constitutional amendment that attributed to the party with the highest number of list votes an additional quota of seats sufficient to guarantee it a majority in Parliament. For Malta democracy and rights, please check

The elections of February 1992 they recorded the statement of the Nationalist Party, which obtained 51, 8 % of the vote and 34 deputies, against 46, 5 % of the vote and 31 seats of Labor. On the strength of this result, Prime Minister E. Fenech-Adami, in office since 1987, formed a new government, which in the economic field continued the liberal-oriented policy initiated in previous years, and on the international level accentuated the rapprochement of Malta to the European Union and NATO. Achieved a new hit in April 1994 with the election of their candidate, UM Bonnici, to the presidency of the Republic (in place of V. Tabone, in office since 1989), the nationalists suffered an unexpected defeat two years later, in October 1996, on the occasion of the elections for the renewal of the Parliament.

A decisive weight on the electoral outcome was the question of Malta’s possible entry into the European Union. The government, in favor of this hypothesis, had introduced, as part of an economic policy based on austerity measures, a value added tax of 15 % which proved to be extremely unpopular. For its abolition, the Labor Party, on the other hand, supported the recovery of the country’s full neutrality in the international field and opposed to entry into the European Union (EU policies in the agricultural field would have led, in his opinion, to a generalized increase in cost of living). The voters rewarded the Labor Party, who obtained the majority of votes (50, 7 % vs. 47,8 % of nationalists) and with it that of deputies (35 against 34 for nationalists), thanks to the 1987 constitutional amendment. In the same October 1996, the Labor leader A. Sant was thus able to form a new government. Among the first measures taken by Sant was, in July 1997, the abolition of the disputed value added tax introduced by his predecessor. In August 1998, the fragile government majority went into crisis and Sant was forced to resign. The new elections, held in September, marked the victory of the Nationalist Party (51.8 % of the votes and 35 deputies against 47% of the votes and 30 seats of the Labor Party) and the return of Fenech-Adami to the head of the executive.

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