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Joseph Muscat

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Joseph Muscat
KUOM
Joseph Muscat, Leader, Partit Laburista, Malta.jpg
13th Prime Minister of Malta
Assumed office
11 March 2013
President George Abela
Marie Louise Coleiro Preca
Deputy Louis Grech
Preceded by Lawrence Gonzi
Personal details
Born (1974-01-22) 22 January 1974 (age 42)
Pietà, Malta
Political party Labour Party
Spouse(s) Michelle Tanti
Children 2
Alma mater University of Malta
University of Bristol
Website Official Facebook

Joseph Muscat, KUOM (born 22 January 1974) is a Maltese politician who has been Prime Minister of Malta since 2013.[1] Muscat has been leader of the Labour Party since 6 June 2008,[2] and he was Leader of the Opposition from 1 October 2008 to 10 March 2013.[citation needed] Previously he was a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2008.[citation needed]

After the Labour Party's victory in the March 2013 general election, Muscat took office as Prime Minister on 11 March 2013.[2]

Education

Muscat received his secondary education at St Aloysius' College, Malta.[citation needed] He received his tertiary education at the University of Malta and the University of Bristol.[3] He graduated Bachelor of Commerce in Management and Public Policy (University of Malta, 1995),[citation needed] Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Public Policy (University of Malta, 1996),[citation needed] Master of Arts in European Studies (University of Malta, 1997)[citation needed] and Ph.D. in Management Research (University of Bristol, 2007) with a thesis on Fordism, multinationals and SMEs in Malta.[4]

Journalism

Muscat worked as a journalist with the party's radio station, Super One Radio.[citation needed] He later took on a similar role at Super One Television, becoming the station's assistant head of news in 1996.[citation needed] He was also editor of the party's online newspaper, maltastar.com between 2001 and 2004.[citation needed] Muscat wrote a regular column in l-Orizzont,[citation needed] a Maltese-language newspaper published by the General Workers'Union and its sister Sunday weekly It-Torca,[citation needed] and was a regular contributor to The Times, an independent newspaper published in Malta.[citation needed]

Politics

Muscat was as a member of the youth section of the Labour Party, the Labour Youth Forum (Forum Żgħażagħ Laburisti) where he served as Financial Secretary (1994–97) and Acting Chairperson (1997).[citation needed] He later served as Education Secretary in the Central Administration of the Party (2001–2003) and Chairman of its Annual General Conference (November 2003).[citation needed] During the Labour government of 1996-98 he was a member of the National Commission for Fiscal Morality (1997–98).[citation needed]

In 2003 he was nominated to a working group led by George William Vella and Evarist Bartolo on the Labour Party's policies on the European Union.[citation needed] This working group produced the document Il-Partit Laburista u l-Unjoni Ewropea: Għall-Ġid tal-Maltin u l-Għawdxin ('Labour Party and the European Union: For the benefit of the Maltese and the Gozitans') which was adopted by the Labour Party Extraordinary General Conference in November of that year.[citation needed] At this General Conference Muscat was approved as a candidate for the election to the European Parliament[citation needed]

Member of the European Parliament (2004-2008)

Joseph Muscat addressing Maltese Parliament in November 2011

Despite having previously expressed opposition to Malta's entry into the European Union,[5] Muscat was elected to the European Parliament in the 2004 European Parliament election being the Labour Party (formerly the Malta Labour Party) candidate who received the most first-preference votes.[citation needed] Sitting as a Member of the European Parliament, with the Party of European Socialists, he held the post of Vice-President of the Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and substitute member of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection.[citation needed] He was a member of a number of delegations for relations with Belarus and with the countries of south-east Europe.[citation needed]He was also a member of the EU-Armenia, EU-Azerbaijan and EU-Georgia Parliamentary Cooperation Committees.[citation needed]

As an MEP he supported a reduction in the tax for satellite television, the right for customers to watch sport events for free, and a number of issues related to environmental protection in Malta.[citation needed] He formed part of a team responsible for a report on the roaming mobile phone bills and sale of banks.[citation needed]

Muscat resigned his seat in the European Parliament in 2008 to take up a seat in the Maltese Parliament and the role of Leader of the Opposition.[citation needed] Four months previously, he had been elected Leader of the Labour Party. Before his resignation his report proposing new regulations for the EU’s financial services sector was adopted by the European Parliament.[citation needed]

Leader of Labour Party

Joseph Muscat at a meeting while explaining political proposals

On 24 March 2008 Muscat announced his candidacy for the post of Party Leader, to replace Alfred Sant, who had resigned after a third consecutive defeat for the Party in the March 2008 general election and a heavy[unreliable source?] defeat in the EU referendum in March 2003.[citation needed]

Although at the time Muscat was not a member of the Maltese House of Representatives, he was elected as the new party leader on 6 June 2008.[citation needed] In order to take up the post of Leader of the Opposition, Muscat was coopted in the Maltese Parliament on 1 October 2008 to fill the seat vacated by Joseph Cuschieri for the purpose.[citation needed]The latter eventually took up the sixth seat allocated to Malta in the European Parliament once the Treaty of Lisbon was brought into effect in 2011.[citation needed] On taking up the Leadership post Muscat introduced a number of changes to the Party, notably the change of official name and party emblem.[citation needed]

In the 2009 Maltese European Parliament Elections, the first with Muscat as Party Leader, Labour candidates obtained 55% of first-preferences against the 40% obtained by candidates of the Nationalist Party.[citation needed]

Muscat contested Malta's general elections for the first time in March 2013 and was elected in District 2 - Il-Birgu, L-Isla, Il-Bormla, Ħaż-Żabbar, Il-Kalkara, Ix-Xgħajra at the first count with 13968 votes and District 4 - Part of Il-Fgura, Il-Gudja, Ħal Għaxaq, Part of Il-Marsa, Paola, Santa Luċija, Ħal Tarxien at the first count with 12202 votes and 53% of the vote.[6] On 11 March 2013 he was sworn in as Prime Minister of Malta.[citation needed]

Prime Minister of Malta

Muscat was elected as Prime Minister in the March 2013 general election. The Labour Party won this election with a margin of about 35,000 votes, which is considered a landslide[unreliable source?] in the country.[citation needed]

On 10 March 2013, following his election victory, Muscat was congratulated in a statement by the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, on behalf of the European Commission.[7]

Health

On April 7, 2014, Muscat suffered from temporary blindness caused by UV radiation probably related to burns to his cornea. Like 60 other people with similar symptoms, he had participated at a political rally the day before.[8]

Honours

National honours

Foreign honours

References

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Alfred Sant
Leader of the Labour Party
2008–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Alfred Sant
Leader of the Opposition
2008–2013
Succeeded by
Lawrence Gonzi
Preceded by
Lawrence Gonzi
Prime Minister of Malta
2013–present
Incumbent