Malta

Rare consensus as new Maltese president is voted in

Rare consensus as new Maltese president is voted in Valletta - A 60-year-old lawyer was voted in as Malta's next president Wednesday, amid rare consensus in the politically-divided island.

George Abela was unanimously voted in by parliament as Malta's eighth president, and the first ever from an opposition party.

A former deputy leader of the Labour Party, last year Abela contested the top post for a party trailing from three successive electoral defeats.

Crusaders’ tunnels found beneath historic heart of Maltese capital

MaltaWashington, March 26 : A tunnel network has been uncovered beneath the historic heart of the Maltese capital of Valletta, which according to rumors, had been constructed by the crusading Knights of the island of Malta.

According to a report in National Geographic News, the newfound tunnels date back to the 16th and early 17th centuries, when the knights—one of the major Christian military orders of the 11th- to 13th-century Crusades—fortified Valletta against Muslim attack.

Violence erupts at Malta detention centre

Violence erupts at Malta detention centre Valetta, Malta - At least one person was injured Monday during clashes at a migrant detention centre in Malta, officials said.

An undisclosed number of would-be immigrants fled from the centre during the disturbances, in which rioters also started several fires, the officials said. Reporters saw one detainee being carried toward a waiting ambulance. Information on the person's condition was not immediately available.

The two hour-long rampage was brought under control following the intervention of riot police backed by military reinforcements, officials said.

Malta, Libya sign search and rescue agreement

Malta, Libya sign search and rescue agreement Valletta, Malta - Malta and Libya have signed a long-awaited memorandum of understanding on search and rescue, the Maltese Foreign Ministry said Friday night.

There has been a steady increase in tragedies caused by boatloads of African immigrants leaving Libya's shores en route to Europe.

The memorandum of understanding is inspired by the desire of Malta and Libya to further promote friendly relations between the two countries and the necessity of improving the safety of life at sea in the Mediterranean basin, the ministry said.

Malta refuses would-be immigrants rescued by Italian ship

Malta refuses would-be immigrants rescued by Italian ship Valletta, Malta - A diplomatic spat was brewing Monday between Malta and Italy after Maltese authorities refused to take 65 would-be immigrants rescued from a dinghy by an Italian warship.

The group was picked up late Sunday some 40 nautical miles south west the Italian islet of Lampedusa and some 115 nautical miles from Malta.

Italian authorities say the area falls under Malta's rescue responsibilities, a claim disputed by Maltese officials.

EU commissioner calls for solidarity with Malta on immigration

EU commissioner calls for solidarity with Malta on immigration Valletta, Malta  - EU Justice Commissioner Jacques Barrot made a "solemn appeal" for Europe-wide solidarity Saturday in an attempt to help Malta deal with illegal immigration problems.

Barrot was in Malta as part of a fact-finding mission into conditions faced by illegal immigrants, mostly Africans, who try to enter the EU by reaching the island.

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