Athens – As they returned from their involvement in the European-German war, elements of the Hellenic Forces have successfully engaged in a military operation to take and occupy the Republic of Malta. The Imperial Intelligence Community long suspected seperatist groups of using the island republic as a foreign safe haven to launch operations inside the Athenian Federation. Now under Athenian occupation that threat is reduced.
After a joint strike by the Hellenic Navy and Hellenic Air Force, a landing force from the Hellenic Marine Corps as well as two Hellenic Army Paratrooper Divisions secured the main island upon which the defending Maltese fortified their position on the smaller Gozo island. For two days Athenian forces secured their control of the main island as Hellenic Army reinforcements flew in for the final push. The final push would be over within four hours after which the former president of Malta signed the instrument of surrender.
Upon the surrender, the government has installed a military governor, for the immediate future Malta will remain a military administration. Once all traces of resistance and insurgent movements against the Athenian Federation have been brought to justice, it will be allowed to join the Athenian Federation in full. There was some political opposition against the operation, primarily concerning the nature that it was not authorized by the Empress. In her response, however, the Chief Magistrate stated that the Empress had expressed her full support before her leave of absence and that Malta presented an immediate security threat that could not be ignored. When asked why the government didn’t seek to maintain Maltese sovereignty, the Chief Magistrate replied that an independent Malta would be too weak to permanently repel insurgencies from other European states and that the annexation was as much about protecting Malta as it was Athens.