The Republic of Malta is situated some 80 kilometres off the south west coast of Sicily and consists of the three islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino.
Malta became independent from Britain in 1964 and has been a Republic since 1973. The population is circa 400,000 and the official languages are English and Maltese.
Malta has been a full member of the European Union (EU) since the 1st May 2004 and is subject to EU financial legislation, regulation and reporting standards.
The currency is the Euro.