Malta has a rich seafaring history, having first been given its name, 'Malat' (meaning "safe haven"), by the Phoenicians who colonised the island in the 7th century BC. It was subesquently controlled by Carthaginians (400 BC), Romans (218 BC), Vandals (440), Byzantines (533), Fatimids (870), Normans (1091), Swabians (1194), Angevins (1266), Aragonese (1283), the Spanish Empire (1479), the Knights of St. John (1516), the French First Republic (1798), and the British Empire (1800), before gaining independence in 1964.
Malta joined the EU on 1 May 2004, before joining the eurozone on 1 January 2008.
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