Author Topic: Malta  (Read 619 times)

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Malta
« on: February 09, 2022, 02:49:13 PM »

Stargames Malta registered on February 9th, 2022.

Malta (/ˈmɒltə/ (audio speaker iconlisten) MOL-tə, UK also /ˈmɔːltə/ MAWL-tə, Maltese: [ˈmɐltɐ]), officially known as the Republic of Malta (Maltese: Repubblika ta' Malta [rɛˈpʊbːlɪkɐ tɐ ˈmɐltɐ]) is an island country of the European Union consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, and considered part of Southern Europe. It lies 80 km (50 mi) south of Sicily (Italy), 284 km (176 mi) east of Tunisia, and 333 km (207 mi) north of Libya. With a population of about 515,000 over an area of 316 km2 (122 sq mi), Malta is the world's tenth smallest country in area and fourth most densely populated sovereign country. Its capital is Valletta, which is the smallest national capital in the European Union by area at 0.61 km2 (0.24 sq mi). The official language are Maltese and English, also 66% of the current Maltese population being at least conversational in the Italian language.

Malta has been inhabited since approximately 5900 BC. Its location in the centre of the Mediterranean has historically given it great strategic importance as a naval base, with a succession of powers having contested and ruled the islands, including the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Normans, Aragonese, Knights of St. John, French, and British, amongst others. Most of these foreign influences have left some sort of mark on the country's ancient culture.

Malta became a British colony in 1813, serving as a way station for ships and the headquarters for the British Mediterranean Fleet. It was besieged by the Axis powers during World War II and was an important Allied base for operations in North Africa and the Mediterranean. The British parliament passed the Malta Independence Act in 1964, giving Malta independence from the United Kingdom as the State of Malta, with Elizabeth II as its queen. The country became a republic in 1974. It has been a member state of the Commonwealth of Nations and the United Nations since independence, and joined the European Union in 2004; it became part of the eurozone monetary union in 2008.

Malta has had Christians since the time of Early Christianity, though was predominantly Muslim while under Arab rule, at which time Christians were tolerated. Muslim rule ended with the Norman invasion of Malta by Roger I in 1091. Today, Catholicism is the state religion, but the Constitution of Malta guarantees freedom of conscience and religious worship.

Malta is a tourist destination with its warm climate, numerous recreational areas, and architectural and historical monuments, including three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum, Valletta, and seven megalithic temples which are some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world.


Sport

Water polo is one of the most popular sports in Malta, with the level of clubs being quite high.

Water polo was played in Malta at the turn of the 20th century, and was already a well-contested sport in the 1920s, when Lord Plumer, then Governor of Malta, thought about the possibility of entering a Maltese team in the 1924 Summer Olympics. Eventually Lord Plumer left his post but the Maltese enterprised through the Aquatic Sports Association of Malta, then called Amateur Swimmers Association. This was refused by the Dutch organising them on the grounds that Malta was not a country, and after a legal battle ensued for Malta to be able to accede, Malta entered the 1928 Summer Olympics. It is worth noting that this process also led to the creation of the Malta Olympic Committee.

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