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Malta
With its 7000 year old history the island of Malta was the realm of the Phoenicians, Arabs and the Aragonese before Charles Quint relinquished it to the Knights of the Order of Malta. It then was annexed by Great Britain in 1814. It only gained its independence under the Commonwealth in 1964, and then, in 1974, it became a parliamentary republic. For a long time deemed as a tax haven, Malta asked to join the European Union in 1990 which it finally did in May 2004. This Catholic country, the last State in the Union to totally ban abortion and which only accepted divorce in May 2011 entered the Schengen area in December 2007 and joined the euro zone on 1st January 2008.
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