[180] They feature many traits typical of a Mediterranean climate, such as drought resistance. [66] After the failure of his expedition, the island fell back in the hands of Carthage, only to be conquered again in 218 BC, during the Second Punic War, by Roman Consul Tiberius Sempronius Longus. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? [185], Currently,[when?] On 1 January 2014 Arriva ceased operations in Malta due to financial difficulties, having been nationalised as Malta Public Transport by the Maltese government, with a new bus operator planned to take over their operations in the near future. With lower fares than the walk-on rate, it can be topped up online. Fixed line telephone numbers have the prefix 21 and 27, although businesses may have numbers starting 22 or 23. Primary school lasts six years. Officially, it is a national festival dedicated to the feast of Saints Peter and St. Paul. Today, there is one Jewish congregation. [217] At the height of the bombing of Malta during the Second World War, Mussolini announced that his forces had destroyed the railway system, but by the time war broke out, the railway had been mothballed for more than nine years. Malta is an archipelago in the central Mediterranean (in its eastern basin), some 80 km (50 mi) from southern Italy across the Malta Channel. [304] For reference the latest census counts 139,583 households in Malta. In the tab for each Glory Hole you will find a map of location with directions of how to get to the place: driving, walking, public transport or bike. [296], A national feast since the rule of the Knights, Mnarja is a traditional Maltese festival of food, religion and music. About half of Malta’s daily water needs are supplied by desalination plants throughout the islands. The minor islands that form part of the archipelago are uninhabited and include: Malta has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa),[26][154] with mild winters and hot summers, hotter in the inland areas. Some historians argue that the award caused Britain to incur disproportionate losses in defending Malta, as British credibility would have suffered if Malta had surrendered, as British forces in Singapore had done. The highest point in Malta is Ta' Dmejrek, at 253 m (830 ft), near Dingli. [156], The average annual sea temperature is 20 °C (68 °F), from 15–16 °C (59–61 °F) in February to 26 °C (79 °F) in August. French financial and religious policies so angered the Maltese that they rebelled, forcing the French to depart. Upon obtaining these subjects, Pupils may opt to continue studying at a sixth form college such as Gan Frangisk Abela Junior College, St. Aloysius' College, Giovanni Curmi Higher Secondary, De La Salle College, St Edward's College, or else at another post-secondary institution such as MCAST. For centuries, the Church in Malta was subordinate to the Diocese of Palermo, except when it was under Charles of Anjou, who appointed bishops for Malta, as did – on rare occasions – the Spanish and later, the Knights. [21] Most of these foreign influences have left some sort of mark on the country's ancient culture. Councillors are elected every four years through the single transferable vote. [261], This 'golden passport' citizenship scheme has been criticized on multiple occasions as a fraudulent act by the Maltese Government since it has come under scrutiny for selling citizenship to a number of dubious and/or criminal individuals from non-European nation countries. [149] The archipelago is located on the African tectonic plate. [240] The Maltese alphabet consists of 30 letters based on the Latin alphabet, including the diacritically altered letters ż, ċ and ġ, as well as the letters għ, ħ, and ie. Its capital Valletta, a lively, bustling city with many buildings dating back to the 16th century, teems with cathedrals, palaces and forts. Another conjecture suggests that the word Malta comes from the Phoenician word Maleth, "a haven",[37] or 'port'[38] in reference to Malta's many bays and coves. In 2009 the first New Year's Eve street party was organised in Malta, parallel to what major countries in the world organise. Gozitan landline numbers generally are assigned 2*56****. The Declaration also stated that "his Majesty has no right to cede these Islands to any power...if he chooses to withdraw his protection, and abandon his sovereignty, the right of electing another sovereign, or of the governing of these Islands, belongs to us, the inhabitants and aborigines alone, and without control."[116][47]. [105], The Order of Saint John (also known as the Knights Hospitaller, or the Knights of Malta) were the rulers of Malta and Gozo between 1530 and 1798. [32] The ancient Greeks called the island Μελίτη (Melitē) meaning "honey-sweet", possibly for Malta's unique production of honey; an endemic subspecies of bees live on the island. [286] In 2018 the national collection of fine arts was moved and put on display in the new National Museum of Art, MUŻA, located at Auberge d’Italie in Valletta. [201], According to Eurostat data, Maltese GDP per capita stood at 88 per cent of the EU average in 2015 with €21,000. The Knights' presence on the island saw the completion of many architectural and cultural projects, including the embellishment of Città Vittoriosa (modern Birgu), the construction of new cities including Città Rohan (modern Ħaż-Żebbuġ) . The adult literacy rate is 99.5 per cent. A volunteer organization, Alarm Phone, on Sunday morning said the dinghy was overcrowded and taking in water. 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