On Wednesday, (13 December) Malta celebrated its fourth anniversary as an independent republic within the British Commonwealth.
CU Slogan 'Viva Malta Republica'
CU PULL BACK Portrait of Dom Mintoff on poster outside party headquarters
GV ZOOM IN crowds watch as floats pass through streets in parade
TV Band in parade
SV & CU Nurses marching in procession
SV Maltese President Buttigieg watches parade from balcony
TV Malta dry dock float passes (2 shots)
SV Pioneer corps marching carrying Maltese flags as President watches (2 shots)
SV & CU Girls dressed in traditional costume on float (3 shots)
SV People following procession
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Background: On Wednesday, (13 December) Malta celebrated its fourth anniversary as an independent republic within the British Commonwealth.
SYNOPSIS: Malta, a garrison island in the Mediterranean for British troops since the Napoleonic Wars, has seen many changes since 1964. It was then that Malta signed its Independence Constitution, becoming a sovereign state. The Labour Government of Mr. Dom Mintoff came to power in 1971 and in 1974, Malta became a Republic.
The precession marking the anniversary was watched from a balcony by President Anton Buttigieg. When the Labour Government came to power, the first thing they did was revoke the agreement covering British and NATO bases on the island. Negotiations fro higher rental fees failed and all British forces will be withdrawn by the end of March, next year.
Since the NATO decision, Malta has sought aid from its Mediterranean neighbours including the oil rich Libyan Jamahiriyah, which is reported willing to help off-set Malta's losses in revenue. Prime Minister Mintoff also sought assistance from European countries, but it's reported they were reluctant to pay for empty bases and took the view that modern weapons had considerably reduced Malta's strategic importance.