|geographic coordinates:||35 53 N, 14 30 E|
|time difference:||UTC + 1|
|daylight saving time:||+1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October|
Great Britain formally acquired possession of Malta in 1814. The island staunchly supported the UK through both World Wars and remained in the Commonwealth when it became independent in 1964. A decade later Malta became a republic. Since about the mid-1980s, the island has transformed itself into a freight transshipment point, a financial center, and a tourist destination. Malta became an EU member in May 2004 and began to use the euro as currency in 2008.