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Malta - Essay Example

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The political approach to immigration is generally quite protectionist and mostly based on the very same observation that led so many Maltese to emigrate in the past, that is the fact that Malta is a small densely populated country with limited resources and, therefore, no space for newcomers…
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Download file to see previous pages It indicates the general views that Malta is a transit country and the vast majority of migrants hope to reach other European countries rather than settle in the Islands. It also includes relevant statistical information on migration and the foreign population in the Maltese Islands.
In the conclusion, it indicates possible future research development and alerts against the possible risks of limiting research to the topical issues of illegal immigration and border control for both economically and socially acceptable solutions.
With an area of just over 300 square kilometers and a total population of 399,867 (Department of Information of the Maltese government, 2003), the Maltese Islands have been for several decades one of the most densely populated countries in the world, thus facing the problem of how to strike a balance between population growth and the limited economic resources of the country. During particular historical phases, the combination of overpopulation and unemployment resulted in the emigration of thousands of Maltese abroad. Since the 1980s, however, such emigration has slowed down and, over the past recent years, the flows have reverted with immigration being on the increase.
Large scale emigration ha...
Since the 1980s, however, such emigration has slowed down and, over the past recent years, the flows have reverted with immigration being on the increase.
Large scale emigration has been a feature of Maltese life since the early years of the nineteenth century when, under British colonial rule, early efforts to encourage and assist Maltese to migrate began. The outflow started to develop on a more permanent basis during the two World Wars when the government established the Department of Emigration to manage the emigration flow (NSO 2003a).
After the Second World War, Maltese emigration reached its peak. Government's efforts to facilitate it were intensified and turned migration into one of the main political answers to the country post-war economic hardship. In fact, in the aftermath of the war the economic conditions of the country had begun to take a down-turn and, consequently, many Maltese lost their jobs (i.e. the dockyard, which used to employ about 11,000 people, began gradually to wind down).
Furthermore, a baby boom in the immediate post-war period, led to a net population growth of about 8000 people/year thus leading to a density of 1,158 people per km and a total population of nearly 350,000. As a consequence, in the late '40s and '50s, many Maltese began to leave the country and migrate abroad opening a new phase of massive and rapid migration.
"Intensive propaganda was carried out to the squares of every town and village so much so that many had the impression that to solve their problems all they had to do was to pack their belongings and leave." (Attard 1997; p.2). As a matter of fact, from 1945 to 1979 around 140,000 men, women and children left the Maltese Islands with Australia, the UK, Canada, and the US ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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