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Malta

1997 Malta

According to Countryaah, the right-wing national party took over the government in May 1987. Liberal Prime Minister Edward Fenech-Adami initiated a policy of rapprochement with the United States. Imports were released, free-trade zones were set up and tourism and foreign investment developed.

Adami was re-elected in February 1992 when the National Party got 51.77% of the vote and the Labor Party 46.50%. Adami stated that his main objective was the accession of Malta to the EU.

In 1993, the EU declared that democratic stability and the human rights situation in Malta made it possible for the country to join the EU. Yet the country's economic structures were characterized as "obsolete" and it was advised to carry out "basic economic reforms". On 1 January 1995, a VAT scheme was introduced, despite sharp criticism from the trade union movement and trade.

In June 95, the EU provided financial assistance to Malta in support of the country's economic reform, and it was announced that by the end of 1996 negotiations would be started on the accession of the country to the Union.

In the October 1996 elections, the Labor Party won 50.7% of the vote, while the National Party had to settle for 47.8%. Alfred Sant was subsequently appointed prime minister.

After the election, the new government withdrew Malta from NATO. Sant declared that his country would use its constitutional neutrality to promote stability and security in the Mediterranean. At the same time, he froze the plans for accession to the EU and declared that he wanted a gradual rapprochement through cooperation agreements and free trade.

The state budget deficit for 1997 and rising unemployment forced the government to implement an economic emergency program for 1998. In March 98, a distrust vote against the Sant's government led to its decline. True argued that the adoption of a development program funded by North American capital should be seen as a vote of confidence, but the opposition Nationalist Party, along with some Social Democrats, gathered 35 votes against Sant's 34.

After the government crisis, new elections were held to be held in September. It was won by the Nationalist Party with 52% of the vote. New Prime Minister Eddie Fenech Adami's first step as head of government was to apply for membership in the EU. An application by the Labor Party as early as 1996 had been withdrawn.

At the December 1999 government meeting, the EU formally re-included Malta in the list of applicant countries.

Malta became the first country in the new millennium to abolish the death penalty for all crimes when it adopted a supplement to the Armed Forces Law on March 21, 2000. The death penalty is replaced in all cases with life imprisonment.

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