Malta in the Late 20th Century

By | December 26, 2021

After the victory in the political elections of 1976, the Labor government established a strong convergence with the trade unions, while some measures were taken to regulate the economy. In foreign policy, after the withdrawal of the British military forces, according to the 1972 agreements, in March 1979, Malta confirmed his position of neutrality. Relations with Libya, which had strengthened following a technical-financial agreement stipulated in 1978, deteriorated in the course of 1980, due to the conflict that arose over the extension of territorial waters and the exploitation of the continental shelf, where the government Maltese had authorized ENI to begin oil exploration on behalf of the Texaco company. Libya ordered, in August 1980, to suspend drilling for oil and the Maltese government responded by expelling Libyan technicians. In the summer of 1980 Malta entered into an agreement with the Italian government, which undertook to guarantee the island’s neutrality and to provide it with substantial financial aid. A meeting between Dom Mintoff and Gaddafi in March 1982 settled the differences and diplomatic and commercial relations were re-established between the two countries. For Malta 2015, please check dentistrymyth.com.

In December 1981 the political elections were once again won by the Labor Party thanks to the electoral system (based on the principle of the transferability of individual votes from one candidate to another), despite the fact that the Nationalist Party had obtained a slightly higher percentage of overall votes.. The Nationalist Party contested the electoral results and, in addition to boycotting the new Parliament, in the following months launched a campaign of civil disobedience with demonstrations and strikes. In February 1982, having expired the mandate of A. Buttigieg, Mrs. A. Barbara was elected to the presidency of the Republic. In March 1983, nationalist MPs put an end to the boycott, but relations with the Labor Party worsened further in June due to the approval of a law that expropriated most of the ecclesiastical assets and following the attempt made by the government to limit the presence of the Catholic Church in the education sector. The clash lasted throughout 1984 with appeals to the judicial authorities, demonstrations and strikes, and led, in December, to the resignation of Mintoff.

In April 1985 an agreement signed by the new Labor Prime Minister KM Bonnici guaranteed the Church the autonomy of the schools it managed. In February 1987, Fr. Xuereb, former speaker of Parliament, replaced A. Barbara as President of the Republic. In the general elections of May 1987, the Nationalist Party had 50.9% of the votes, but won only 31 of the 65 seats up for grabs, while the Labor Party with 48.9% of the votes won the remaining 34 seats. However, in compliance with a constitutional amendment that was approved in January of that year – which attributed an additional rate of seats to the party that obtained the majority of the list votes to allow it to reach a majority plus one in Parliament – four additional seats were assigned to the Nationalist Party. After sixteen years of government, the Labor Party left power to the nationalists whose leader E. Fenech-Adami became prime minister. At the time of his inauguration Fenech-Adami reaffirmed Malta’s non-alignment and the link with Libya, while closer relations with the United States and other Western countries were envisaged. The new prime minister also underlined his commitment to Malta becoming a full member of the EEC. In April 1989 V. Tabone, former foreign minister of the nationalist government, replaced Xuereb as president of the Republic. On 2 and 3 December 1989 the port of Malta hosted the first summit meeting between G. Bush and Malta Gorbačëv. In February 1990 the bilateral cooperation treaty with Libya was renewed until 1995, with the exception of military clauses. The general elections held in February 1992 confirmed the supremacy of the Nationalist Party.

Malta in the Late 20th Century