Sir Peter Caruana
|5th Chief Minister of Gibraltar|
17 May 1996 – 9 December 2011
David Blunt (Acting)
Philip Barton (Acting)
Leslie Pallett (Acting)
|Preceded by||Joe Bossano|
|Succeeded by||Fabian Picardo|
15 October 1956|
|Political party||Gibraltar Social Democrats (1990-2013)|
|Alma mater||Queen Mary University of London|
Sir Peter Richard Caruana, KCMG QC (born 15 October 1956) is a former Gibraltarian politician, former leader of the Gibraltar Social Democrats (GSD) and former Chief Minister of Gibraltar, holding office from 1996 to 2011. He is a barrister by profession and was appointed a Queen's Counsel for Gibraltar in 1998 and elected an Overseas Master of the Bench of Inner Temple in 2011.
Early and personal life
Caruana was born in Gibraltar and is of Maltese and Italian descent. He was educated at the Christian Brothers School in Gibraltar, and then Grace Dieu Manor School and the independent Ratcliffe College (both in Leicestershire, England), and finally Queen Mary University of London and the Council of Legal Education. Before serving as Chief Minister he was a partner in the law firm Triay & Triay. He is married to Cristina, daughter of Joseph Triay, a local barrister. He has 7 children: Michael, Georgina, Nicola, Philippa, Patrick, Timothy, and James. His leisure interests are golf, and political and current affairs.
Prior to being elected to Government his political career progressed steadily. In 1990, Caruana became a member of the Gibraltar Social Democrats. One year later, he became leader of the party and in May 1991 gained a seat in the House of Assembly by winning Gibraltar's first contested by-election. In January 1992, Caruana led his party to the position of official opposition by winning seven seats in the House of Assembly. Finally, in May 1996, he led the party to victory and became Chief Minister of Gibraltar.
The GSD which he led from 1991 to 2012, is robustly against any transfer of sovereignty to Spain, but remains in favour of safe dialogue. As Chief Minister, Caruana consistently refused to attend bi-lateral talks between the United Kingdom and Spain as part of the UK delegation, on the basis that the interests of the Gibraltarians were not protected, and he did not want to give any measure of legitimacy to talks over which Gibraltar had no control.
In 2002, he called a referendum on the subject of the proposed joint sovereignty deal, which led to it being abandoned.
In December 2004 the principle of tripartite talks, with the Government of Gibraltar as an equal party with the UK and Spain, was finally recognised, largely as a result of his involvement. This resulted in the Cordoba Agreement which improved communications between Gibraltar and Spain with direct flights from Madrid which subsequently collapsed due to a lack of demand, and in Spain finally recognising Gibraltar's international dialling code, thereby ending a long-standing dispute.
In November 2007 he was returned to office for a fourth term. Under his leadership, the Gibraltar Social Democrats were narrowly beaten in the general election of December 2011 by their rival party, the coalition between the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party and the Gibraltar Liberal Party, who won said election by 1.2%. On 9 January 2013, Caruana made it public that he would stand down from the party leadership and as Leader of the Opposition at the end of the month.
Caruana was appointed a Queen's Counsel for Gibraltar in 1998. In 2003 he was appointed Knight Grand Cross of Merit of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George by Prince Carlo, Duke of Castro. Caruana was also appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to Gibraltar.
- "Legal news". The Daily Telegraph. London. 14 April 2011. p. 30.
- Are we going to fight the Armada again?, The Daily Telegraph, 22 March 2002
- Government of Gibraltar – Political Development
- "Caruana to Step Down". The Gibraltar Chronicle. 9 January 2013. Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
- "Members of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George". Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George – Delegation for Great Britain and Ireland. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- "No. 60534". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 June 2013. p. 3.
- "Caruana Heads Queen's Birthday Honours". Your Gibraltar TV. 14 June 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
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