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Commemoration of Sette Giugno in Valletta

Sette Giugno in Malta

Sette Giugno in Malta

It commemorates the events leading to Malta's independence

Sette Giugno (Seventh of June) is an official holiday commemorating a crucial point in Malta’s political history. On this day in 1919, a series of riots in Malta ended up with the British firing into the crowd and killing four people. After increased resistance, the British presence on the island was challenged.

Why the Maltese celebrate Sette Giugno 

Sette Giugno is the culmination of a series of riots by the Maltese who were facing extreme poverty arising from steep increases in the price of bread. The crowds rebelled against the grain importers and flour millers who were considered to be making large profits from the increases in the price of food whilst the people were starving.

British troops were called in to control the rioters, leading to shots being fired. Four Maltese persons, Manwel Attard, Karmnu Abela, Ġużè Bajada and Wenzu Dyer lost their lives during these riots.

These events marked a crucial point in Malta’s political history highlighting the urgent need for social and economic reforms. Following these events, and efforts by the Maltese authorities, Malta was granted the 1921 Amery-Milner Constitution, giving, for the first time, the right of self-government on domestic matters.

It is believed that these events have ultimately led to the independence of Malta in 1964, when British rule officially ended.

Sette Giugno was made one of the five national holidays in 1989. Traditionally, this day is commemorated by a wreath-laying ceremony at the foot of the Sette Giugno monument.

Source: Parliament of Malta among others

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