Harry Vassallo

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Dr Harry Vassallo
Ex Chairperson of Alternattiva Demokratika
In office
Personal details
Spouse(s) Susanna
Children Sebastian
Nina , Anna lucia
Religion Roman Catholic

Harry Vassallo (born Enrico Vassallo) was the Chaiperson of the Maltese Green political party, Democratic Alternative from 1998 till 2008. He was succeeded by Prof. Arnold Cassola.

Vassallo studied at the University of Malta from where he graduated as doctor of laws in 1982 with a thesis on Insurance Law.


Between 1981 and 1988 Vassallo was law reporter for The Times (Malta) covering a period of trials dealing with human rights violations. He was later parliamentary reporter for the same paper (1988–89) before taking up the editorship of the Green Party paper "Alternattiva" (1989–91). He was a regular contributor to The Times, L-Orizzont and Malta Today before serving as editor of Illum between 2008 and 2010.

Activism and politics[edit]

Vassallo first joined the Green movement, a now defunct group, in 1979.

In 1981 he became a member of Żgħażagħ għall-Ambjent, one of the first Maltese environmentalist movements, which was later to rename itself to Moviment għall-Ambjent and, eventually, Friends of the Earth (Malta). Vassallo edited the movement's magazine "L-Ambjent" (1987) and served as its General Secretary (1989).

Vassallo was one of the co-founders of Democratic Alternative (DA) in 1989 and unsuccessfully stood for all general elections since on the Party ticket. Vassallo also stood on a Green Party ticket, this time successfully, in 1994 in the local election in Sliema. He has served as Chairperson of DA] between 1998 and 2008.

On the international scene Vassallo was Malta's delegate first to the European Federation of Green Parties and then to its successor the European Green Party (EGP) (1999–2006). He also served as a member of the EGP Committee between 2006 and 2008.

European Commission[edit]

In 2010 Vassallo joined the Cabinet of European Commissioner John Dalli where he is responsible for animal health and welfare.[1]

The appointment came as a surprise considering that Dalli and Vassallo both held very senior positions in rival Maltese parties belonging to different political families. It has been speculated that Dalli wanted Vassallo on his team to make use of his contacts with the The Greens–European Free Alliance group in the European Parliament on environmentally-sensitive issues such as animal welfare and genetically modified organisms.[2] However, Dalli was not spared criticism from the same group and major environmental organisations when, early in his mandate, the European Commission gave the green light for the cultivation of the genetically-modified potato Amflora.[3]


  1. ^ http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/dalli/about/team/index_en.htm
  2. ^ http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20100207/local/harry-vassallo-joining-dallis-team-in-brussels
  3. ^ http://www.greens-efa.org/cms/pressreleases/dok/329/329653.gmos@fr.htm

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Wenzu Mintoff
Chairperson of Alternattiva Demokratika
1998 - 2008
Succeeded by
Arnold Cassola