Prime Ministers of Malta
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Dr Edward Fenech Adami (1987 – 1996, 1998 - 2004)
Prime Minister of Malta (1987 – 1996, 1998 - 2004)
Dr Edward Fenech Adami was born in 1934, the son of a customs officer. He was educated at the Jesuits College and the University of Malta, where he first studied economics and the classics and later law. He was called to the bar in 1959.
Dr Fenech Adami joined the Christian Democratic Nationalist Party (PN) in the early 1960s, establishing a reputation as a reserved but determined and capable constituency official. He entered parliament in 1969 and in 1977, less than ten years later, after having served in a number of senior party posts, including president of the Administrative and General Councils, he was elected party leader, succeeding Dr Giorgio Borg-Olivier.
Since 1969, he has been returned to Parliament at every General Election and as Leader of his Party won five popular elections, 1981, 1987, 1992, 1998 and 2003. In 1981, although the Nationalist Party obtained an absolute majority of votes, it did not succeed to win a majority of seats in Parliament, and therefore remained in Opposition. Constitutional changes were then made to guarantee that the party winning an absolute majority of votes would have a parliamentary majority as happened in 1987.
Between 1987 and 1996, President Eddie Fenech Adami, as Prime Minister, ushered in a major period of change for Malta. The country's physical infrastructure was completely overhauled as were the legal and business structures. Trade was liberalized, whilst telecommunications, banking and financial services were deregulated and/or privatised. Malta also began a period of integration with the European Union when its application was presented on the 16th July 1990.
Between 1996 and 1998 Dr Fenech Adami served as Leader of the Opposition until his Party was returned to Government in September 1998. Dr Fenech Adami served a further five years as Prime Minister and Leader of his Party. Malta's EU application, which was put on hold by the previous Labour government, was reactivated. Negotiations on EU membership were concluded by December 2002. In April 2003 Dr Edward Fenech Adami was again confirmed as Prime Minister, following another electoral victory.
A few days later, on the 16th April, 2003, Dr Fenech Adami signed Malta's Accession Treaty with the European Union, together with nine other Heads of Government of countries set to become EU members on the 1st of May 2004.
As Prime Minister Dr Eddie Fenech Adami, attended various EU Summits and also represented Malta at various Commonwealth Meetings. As Leader of his Party he attended various summits of the European Peoples Party. In December 2003, Dr Fenech Adami received the European of the Year 2003 Award from the influential Brussels-based newspaper European Voice in recognition of his unfaltering efforts to bring Malta into the European Union.
On the 7th February 2004, upon reaching his 70th birthday, Dr Fenech Adami tendered his resignation as Nationalist Party Leader. On the 23rd March 2004, Dr Edward Fenech Adami resigned his premiership as well as his parliamentary seat.
Dr Edward Fenech Adami was married to the late Mary nee Sciberras and they have five children, John, Beppe, Michael, Maria and Luigi.