Republic of Malta

Repubblika ta’ Malta

Political Status: Became independent within the Commonwealth on September 21, 1964; republic declared by constitutional amendment on December 13, 1974.

Area: 122 sq. mi. (316 sq. km.).

Population: 404,039 (2005C); 410,000 (2008E).

Major Urban Centers (2005E): VALLETTA (7,100), Birkirkara (22,600), Sliema (12,700).

Official Languages: Maltese, English; Italian is also widely spoken.

Monetary Unit: Euro (market rate December 1, 2009: 1 euro = $1.51US). The euro became Malta’s official currency on January 1, 2008, at a fixed rate of 1 euro = 0.4293 Maltese lira.

President: George ABELA (Malta Labour Party); elected on April 1, 2009, to a five-year term by the House of Representatives and sworn in on April 4, succeeding Edward (Eddie) FRENCH ADAMI (Nationalist Party). (Presidents resign from their parties upon election.)

Prime Minister: Lawrence GONZI ...

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