Malta is situated in the Mediterranean close to both Italy and African continents. This close proximity to such diverse cultures has – and still does – influence the country greatly. In 60AD St Paul brought Christianity to Malta but by 870AD the Arabs invaded. Until 1530 Malta was an extension of Sicily after which the Sovereign Military Order of St. John of Jerusalem ruled until 1798. France too invaded but in 1800 the British took over and ruled until 1964 when Malta gained its independence. In 1974 Malta became a republic.
To this day, the British are well received in Malta and many older people reside there thanks to the warm weather. Malta consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino. Malta is the largest island and its capital Valletta is on the north-east coast. If you’re thinking of moving to Malta here are some essential facts and figures.
The official languages of Malta are Maltese and English. Maltese or ‘Malti’ is a unique language (the only language of Semitic origin written in Latin) and over time words from the English, Italian and French dictionary have been incorporated. Due to its close proximity to Italy, Italian is widely spoken too.
Malta introduced the Euro as the official currency in 2008. It is also the official currency of the neighbouring island of Gozo.
There are restrictions on property ownership in Malta. If you are an EU citizen or foreign national you can only buy one property in Malta. You can only buy it if you intend to live in it and not rent it out. However, there are certain areas on the island where these rules do not apply. House prices across all the different styles of homes including apartments, terraces, maisonettes and town houses have continued to rise. The average price for a 3-bedroom house costs €350,000 (£254,686) and 3-bedroom apartments from €140,000 – €400,000 (£101,916-£291,150).
Malta has an exceptionally good healthcare system and all residents, including those from the EU, and with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) are entitled to free healthcare in government health centres and hospitals. There is also a thriving private healthcare system too with many citizens taking this up alongside the public system.
As a citizen of an EU country moving to another EU country you won’t need a work permit to take up employment in Malta. This also means you have the same rights as national workers including those related to working conditions, pay and social security. In some instances, working for Maltese companies could prove problematic for expats as having a working knowledge of the language and customs can be an issue. That said, with the travel and tourism trades, ICT, gaming and finance big news in Malta, English-speaking candidates can apply.
Set where it is in the Mediterranean, Malta has very sunny summers with around 12 hours of sun per day. Summers are dry and hot, but it can be windy. In the winter, sunshine hours amount to just 5-6 but it is mild and generally not too cold. Rainfall is low too, 568mm a year.
Malta’s climate is typical of the Mediterranean and is strongly influenced by the sea.
As a former British colony the Maltese school system will be familiar with those settling there from the UK. School is compulsory from the ages of 4-16 years. Children start at kindergarten, then go to Primary, Secondary and onto High School (or Sixth Form college) where students study for their A levels. There are also private schools, which are often linked to the Catholic church, and a selection of international schools.
For such a small island Malta has a very high proportion of car drivers, who like the Brits, drive on the left. There is also a public transport system that is heavily reliant on taxis and buses. National and international driving licences are accepted should you wish to hire a car whilst you are there.
For more information about how PSS International can help you make your move to Malta.
PSS International Removals is a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receive a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 33 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal to Malta, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance in ensuring that our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.