alt.culture.malta FAQ Part 3

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Did Napoleon come to Malta?

Yes, he stayed in Palazzo Parisio in Valletta for some days.

I’m looking for information on musical instruments in Malta or in the Mediterreanean. Can you help?
[S] I’ve discovered an amazing site in musical instruments, specialised in Oriental instruments as well. The url is (site down).
Malta takes part on the Eurovision Song Festival. I can’t get it on my local tv station, how could I get it on the net?
Aside from getting the official webcast or similar, you can view the German tv station ARD online at this URL: Online TV-ARD (missing link).
You can view ARD on the Hotbird satellite for free (FTA) through your digital satellite receiver. For more information see Alternatively if you subscribe to BBC PRIME, you can view it also (it was broadcast every year from 2001 onwards) with Terry Wogan’s fun comments!
UPDATE: BBC Prime no longer broadcasts the festival. Instead watch TVM which netcasts the programme on their website.

A Maltese friend told me that they are celebrating the Feast of St Catherine of Alexandria in Zejtun on the 20th June. I believed this Feast Day to be November 25th. Can anyone throw any light on this?

The correct (liturgical) feast-day is November 25th, however at Zejtun they also celebrate it on the 20th June, and is a festa.
[EF] It is celebrated in June due to weather reasons mainly. This was decided around 1993-1995.
[CB] Many feasts in Malta were transferred to summer months for security of weather.
The Ta’ Xbiex feast (St John of the Cross) is the only one which takes place within the Church only (in November), and not outside i.e. only religious ceremonies including Masses (and a small get-together) are held.
What are Malta’s National Holidays?
The National Holidays, or Festi Nazzjonali, are the following: Freedom Day – 31st March ; Sette Giugno – 7th June; Victory Day – 8th September; Independence Day – 21st September; and Republic Day – 13th December;
When was the National Anthem composed and by whom?
It was composed by Dr Robert Sammut (born 1869;died 26th May 1934 in Sliema) in 1922. He was a doctor who studied at the University of Malta and carried out his postgraduate studies in Edinburgh where he was appointed professor of pathology. The lyrics are a prayer and hymn and were composed in the same year or the following one by Dun Karm Psaila.
It was first heard on 3rd February 1923 and adapted officially on 27th February 1945.
These dates are not official. Any official info would be appreciated.
Are there any Maltese outside of Malta who are in pop and rock bands?
There probably are. We know of the lead singer (Spiteri) of the Texas pop group, as well as [SS] Stephanie Sheri whose rock/pop band β€œiO” has their website at (broken link) and has song clips.
Also there are two Maltese-Australian singers who call themselves ‘S2S’, currently a pop sensation over in Australia. The latter were in the news a few years ago. Troy Cassar is a hit singer in Australia in the field of country.
According to Dj Deo on Mas Radio, the Canadian manager of the popular US singer Missy Elliot is of Maltese descent. There are more but the newsgroup is not aware of them. Please post if you know. Are there any well known Maltese living or now deceased overseas?
Yes. The most popular must have been Oreste Chircop (in Hollywood) who was well known but not just among the Maltese abroad.
A recent newspaper (at the time of writing) mentions Alfred Fenech as being well known among the Maltese in Toronto. He used to run tv programmes for the Maltese community for the past 30 years on a station dedicated to ethnic programmes. Some of his footage will be shown on the PBS documentary series Destinazzjoni Kanada. This section is not complete, please post if you can.

From the US, where can I get economical and political information on Malta?
[MM] you can’t go past the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) – a US based company. Their annual Tunisia & Malta Country Profile and quarterly summaries contain up-to-date information on such things as political background – international relations, armed forces; population and society – languages, education, health; currency; economy; national accounts; employment; wages and prices; agriculture and fishing; energy; manufacturing; construction; tourism; transport and communications; finance; foreign trade; external payments and debt; trade and investment regulations; everything you need to know. They also provide a selected bibliography of suggested further reading. If you want to know what’s going on in the country across the board, this is the publication to read.Past reports should be available at any major library. Malta bureau of statistics also published annual reports on a variety of sectors and this may prove useful.
What is Majjistral? How do you specify wind and compass directions in Maltese?
The following ASCII diagram may be of some help.

 | g | Majjistral   Tramuntana
 | o |                |
 | z |                |             Grigal
 | o |                |            /
  ===                 |          /
        o    /=====  |        /
           /         |      /
          |           |   /
          |  Malta       /
       /   ==          /            
Punent  -----------     --------------      Lvant
                   / |            /
                   /  |    
                 /    |     / 
               /      |   /     
             /         /          
           /           |             
       Lbic            |             Xlokk

The above names refer to compass directions as well as winds in the same directions.
The names might have been derived as follows: Lbic (pron. il beach) from sicilian Libici or italian Libeccio = SW, as it is in the direction of Libya; Nofsinhar means half of the day – midday – at which time the Sun is directly overhead in the South of Malta, Xlokk from italian scirocco, Tramuntana from italian Tramonto, Grigal from italian greco, sicilian gricali, maltese Grieg (Greek) since it points towards Greece. Majjistral from sicilian Maistrali. Nofsilbic means SSW and Nofsixxlokk means SSE.
MALTA and the EU section (summarised extracts from the booklet: Question and Answer on Malta and the European Union by the MIC – the Malta-EU Information Centre. Get the booklet for more information):
I feel that we Maltese do not care much about what happens outside our door. Will EU membership change this attitude?
[MIC] EU membership is not a magic formula but it is like to have an impact on how we do things e.g. enforcement of laws as well as our sense of discipline.
Is Maltese be an official EU language?
Yes, it is an official EU language since Malta joined the EU. All EU laws and all EU official documents should be / have to be translated into the Maltese language. Maltese citizens should be able to write to EU institutions including to lodge a complaint, and expect a reply in Maltese. [ modified from the pre-accession text by MIC]
(End of section summarised from MIC booklet)

World Factbook Information on MALTA (the CIA factbook is generally out of date):
Location: Southern Europe, islands in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily (Italy)
Geographic coordinates: 35 50 N, 14 35 E
Map references: Europe
total : 320 sq km
land: 320 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area – comparative: slightly less than twice the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 140 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive fishing zone : 25 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate: Mediterranean with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers
Terrain: mostly low, rocky, flat to dissected plains; many coastal cliffs
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Dingli Cliffs 245 m
Natural resources: limestone, salt
Land use:
arable land: 38%
permanent crops: 3%
permanent pastures: NA%
forests and woodland : NA%
other: 59% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 10 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: NA
Environment – current issues: very limited natural fresh water resources; increasing reliance on desalination
Environment – international agreements:
party to: Climate Change, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified : Biodiversity, Desertification
Geography – note: the country comprises an archipelago, with only the three largest islands (Malta, Gozo, and Comino) being inhabited; numerous bays provide good harbors
Population: 377,177 (July 1997 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years : 21% (male 41,207; female 39,041)
15-64 years: 67% (male 127,553; female 126,355)
65 years and over: 12% (male 18,202; female 24,819) (July 1997 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.68% (1997 est.)
Birth rate: 12.47 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)
Death rate: 7.34 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)
Net migration rate: 1.65 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years : 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (1997 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 7.7 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.44 years
male: 75.16 years
female: 79.87 years (1997 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.84 children born/woman (1997 est.)
noun: Maltese (singular and plural)
adjective: Maltese
Ethnic groups: Maltese (descendants of ancient Carthaginians and Phoenicians, with strong elements of Italian and other Mediterranean stock)
Religions: Roman Catholic 98%
Languages: Maltese (official), English (official)
definition: age 10 and over can read and write
total population: 88%
male: 88%
female: 88% (1985)
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Malta
conventional short form: Malta
Data code: MT
Government type: parliamentary democracy
National capital: Valletta
Administrative divisions: none (administered directly from Valletta)
Independence: 21 September 1964 (from UK)
National holiday: Independence Day, 21 September (1964)
Constitution: 1964 constitution substantially amended on 13 December 1974
Legal system: based on English common law and Roman civil law; has accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Dr. Guido DEMARCO (since 4 April 1999)
head of government : Prime Minister Dr. Eddie FENECH ADAMI (since 1998)
cabinet : Cabinet appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister
elections: president elected by the House of Representatives for a five-year term; election last held NA April 1994 (next to be held by NA April 1999); following House of Representatives elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the president for a five-year term
election data: see for details and links
Judicial branch: Constitutional Court, judges are appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister; Court of Appeal, judges are appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister
Political parties and leaders: Nationalist Party or NP [Edward FENECH ADAMI]; Malta Labor Party or MLP [Alfred SANT]
International organization participation: C, CCC, CE, EBRD, ECE, EU (applicant), FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IFAD, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, NACC (observer), NAM, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Albert Borg Olivier DE PUGET
chancery: 2017 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 462-3611, 3612
FAX : [1] (202) 387-5470
consulate(s): New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d’Affaires Charles N. PATTERSON, Jr.
embassy: 2nd Floor, Development House, Saint Anne Street, Floriana, Malta
mailing address: P. O. Box 535, Valletta
telephone : [356] 235960
FAX: [356] 223322
Flag description: two equal vertical bands of white (hoist side) and red; in the upper hoist-side corner is a representation of the George Cross, edged in red
Economy – overview: Significant resources are limestone, a favorable geographic location, and a productive labor force. Malta produces only about 20% of its food needs, has limited freshwater supplies, and has no domestic energy sources. The economy is dependent on foreign trade, industry (especially electronics and textiles), and tourism; the state-owned Malta drydocks employs about 3,800 people. In 1995, over 1.1 million tourists visited the island. Per capita GDP of $12,600 places Malta in the range of the less affluent EU countries. The island is divided politically over the question of joining the EU.
GDP: purchasing power parity – $4.7 billion (1996 est.)
GDP – real growth rate: 4% (1996 est.)
GDP – per capita: purchasing power parity – $12,600 (1996 est.)
GDP – composition by sector:
agriculture: 5%
industry: 34%
services : 61% (1995 est.)
Inflation rate – consumer price index: 3% (1996)
Labor force:
total : 148,085 (September 1996)
by occupation: public services 37%, other services 28%, manufacturing and construction 25%, agriculture 2% (1995 est.)
Unemployment rate: 3.7% (September 1996)
revenues : $1.66 billion
expenditures: $1.69 billion, including capital expenditures of $633 million (1996 est.)
Industries: tourism; electronics, ship building and repair, construction; food and beverages, textiles, footwear, clothing, tobacco
Industrial production growth rate: -5% (1996 est.)
Electricity – capacity: 405,000 kW (1994)
Electricity – production: 1.41 billion kWh (1994)
Electricity – consumption per capita: NA kWh
Agriculture – products: potatoes, cauliflower, grapes, wheat, barley, tomatoes, citrus, cut flowers, green peppers; pork, milk, poultry, eggs
total value: $1.9 billion (f.o.b., 1995)
commodities: machinery and transport equipment, clothing and footware, printed matter
partners: Italy 32%, Germany 16%, UK 8%
total value: $3 billion (c.i.f., 1995)
commodities: food, petroleum, machinery and semimanufactured goods
partners: Italy 27%, Germany 14%, UK 13%, US 9%
Debt – external: $134 million (1996)
Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $NA
Currency: 1 Maltese lira (LM) = 100 cents
Exchange rates: Maltese liri (LM) per US$1 – 0.3677 (January 1997), 0.3604 (1996), 0.3529 (1995), 0.3776 (1994), 0.3821 (1993), 0.3178 (1992)
Fiscal year: 1 April – 31 March
Telephones: 191,876 (1992 est.)
Telephone system: automatic system satisfies normal requirements
domestic: submarine cable and microwave radio relay between islands
international : 2 submarine cables; satellite earth station – 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 10, shortwave 0
Radios: 189,000 (1992 est.)
Television broadcast stations: 4 (1996 est.)
Televisions: 300,000 (1996 est.)
Railways: 0 km
total : 1,582 km
paved: 1,471 km
unpaved: 111 km (1993 est.)
Ports and harbors: Marsaxlokk, Valletta
Merchant marine:
total : 1,128 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 18,806,358 GRT/31,554,713 DWT
ships by type: bulk 314, cargo 353, chemical tanker 32, combination bulk 27, combination ore/oil 13, container 43, liquefied gas tanker 2, livestock carrier 1, multifunction large-load carrier 3, oil tanker 224, passenger 7, passenger-cargo 3, railcar carrier 1, refrigerated cargo 31, roll-on/roll-off cargo 37, short-sea passenger 22, specialized tanker 3, vehicle carrier 12
note: a flag of convenience registry; includes ships from 46 countries among which are Greece 478, Croatia 52, Switzerland 48, Russia 46, Italy 44, Norway 37, Turkey 28, Germany 23, UK 22, and Ukraine 20 (1996 est.)
Airports: 1 (1996 est.)
Airports – with paved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m : 1 (1996 est.)
Military branches: Armed Forces, Maltese Police Force
Military manpower – availability:
males age 15-49 : 99,032 (1997 est.)
Military manpower – fit for military service:
males: 78,710 (1997 est.)
Military expenditures – dollar figure: $65.5 million (FY96/97)
Military expenditures – percent of GDP: 2.7% (FY96/97)
Transnational Issues
Disputes – international: Malta and Tunisia are discussing the commercial exploitation of the continental shelf between their countries, particularly for oil exploration
Contributors to the FAQ
The following people have made posted or emailed contributions to this FAQ and alt.culture.malta newsgroup. Special thanks goes to them. If you have any corrections, suggestions, additions, subtractions etc, please private message me, C. Meli, user mnr at Emails have been omitted to avoid them being picked up by spambots. Should you prefer to have your email listed, or your name removed kindly let me know.
Charles Borg
Eric Flask
Mark Micallef
Mark D. Spiteri
Maria Sciriha
Mona (amina) Mestary
Shawn J. Micallef
Stephanie Sheri
Tony Vella
Wilfred L. Camilleri
Helen Caruana Galizia
and all sources mentioned above, as well as anyone else
I forgot to mention.
This document is copyrighted. Please read the copyright notice for copyright details and archival information.

β€” end of FAQ document β€”

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