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Malta, officially the Republic of Malta, is a densely populated developed European country in the European Union. The island nation comprises an archipelago of seven islands situated in the Southern European areas of the Mediterranean Sea, 93 km off the coast of Sicily (Italy), 288 km east of Tunisia and 300 km north of Libya. The islands enjoy a Mediterranean climate.
Throughout its history, Malta's location in the Mediterranean Sea has given it a strategic importance. Consequently, a sequence of powers including the Phoenicians, Romans, Fatimids, Sicilians, Knights of St John, French and British have all conquered Malta. Malta gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1964 and became a Republic in 1974 but remains a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. It is a member of the European Union, which it joined in 2004, and also of the United Nations. Malta implemented the Schengen Agreement on December 21, 2007.
Malta is known for its world heritage sites, most prominently the Megalithic Temples which are the oldest free-standing structures on Earth. According to the Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul was shipwrecked on the island. Malta is also considered a hypothetical location for the mythical lost island of Atlantis.
Malta's capital city is Valletta. The country's official languages are Maltese and English, which replaced Italian in 1934. Malta has a long legacy of Roman Catholicism, which continues to be the official and dominant religion in Malta.

( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malta )

USEFUL LINKS

The official tourism site for Malta, Gozo and Comino:
http://www.visitmalta.com/main
The Essentials guide to the Maltese islands:
http://www.malta.com/
University of Malta
http://www.um.edu.mt/
Government of Malta:
http://www.gov.mt/index.asp?l=2
Malta Football Association:
http://www.mfa.com.mt/MaltaFootballAssociation/home.aspx
Malta among European countries:
http://europa.eu/abc/european_countries/eu_members/malta/index_en.htm
Malta holidays and hotels from Your Malta, plus cheap flights, weather in Malta and a map:
http://www.yourmalta.com/
National statistics office - Malta:
http://www.nso.gov.mt/site/page.aspx
Country profile + further links:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/country_profiles/1045691.stm