Maltese Prime Minister Dom Mintoff on Friday (31 December) extended the deadline he'd laid down to British forces for the pull-out of all military personnel and their dependents.
Maltese Prime Minister Dom Mintoff on Friday (31 December) extended the deadline he'd laid down to British forces for the pull-out of all military personnel and their dependents. The deadline had originally been midnight on Friday but shortly before midnight the deadline was extended to January 15. On Thursday (30 December) Mr. Mintoff flew to Libya for a short visit with Colonel Gaddafi. As he did so, British forces were working out the details for the full withdrawal of their personnel in the wake of the Maltese Government's latest demands for increased payments for the use of the island's bases.
SYNOPSIS: The deadline for the withdrawal of British forces from Malta has been extended to January 15.... ships like these are affected by the move.
Britain had been given until midnight on Friday to pull the 3,500 forces and their 7,000 dependents out from Malta. They're leaving because Britain has refused to pay an extra four and a quarter million Pounds demanded by Malta's Prime Minister Dom Mintoff for the use of the island's bases. Mintoff and the British Prime Minister had agreed on a set payment -- but an Christmas Eve he demanded the extra money and said Britain must get out by Friday if the money wasn't paid.
On Thursday, Mr. Mintoff flew to Tripoli for talks with Colonel Gaddafi on the situation. It was believed that he was seeking Libyan aid to cushion Malta's economy against the damaging results of a British withdrawal. About three months ago, Malta received some financial aid from Libya.
On Thursday, Valletta was normal although there was some tension with the approach of the deadline. But it was announced on Friday the deadline had been extended.