The President of Malta
Dr Eddie Fenech Adami was elected President of the Republic on the 4th of April 2004.
Eddie Fenech Adami was born in 1934, the son of a customs officer. He was educated at the Jesuit College and the University of Malta, where he studied economics and classical literature, and later studied law. He graduated as lawyer in 1959.
Dr Fenech Adami joined the Demo Christian Nationalist Party (PN) in the early 1960s, where he established a reputation as a reserved but determined and capable delegate. He was elected as a Member of Parliament in 1969 and in 1977, less than a decade later, when he held various senior positions in the party, including that of chairman of the Administrative and General Councils. He was elected party leader after Dr Giorgio Borg-Olivier.
As from 1969, he was elected as Member of Parliament in every Electoral Election and he won five general elections as Leader of his Party, in 1981, 1987, 1992, 1998 and 2003. In 1981, although the Nationalist Party won an absolute majority of votes, it failed to win a majority of seats in Parliament, and thus remained in the Opposition. Constitutional changes were then made to make sure that a party that won an absolute majority of votes would also have a parliamentary majority, as happened in 1987.
Between 1987 and 1996, President Eddie Fenech Adami, as Prime Minister, brought about an important period of great change in Malta. The country’s own infrastructure had been completely modernised along with the legal and commercial structures. Trade was liberalised, while restrictions on telecommunications and banking and financial services were lifted or privatised. Malta also began a period of accession to the European Union after submitting its application on the 16th of July 1990.
Between 1996 and 1998 Dr Fenech Adami held the post of Leader of the Opposition until his party was re-elected to Government in September 1998. Dr Fenech Adami served as Prime Minister and Leader of his Party for another five years. Malta’s application to join the EU, which had been frozen by the previous Labour Government, had been reactivated. Negotiations for accession to the European Union were concluded in December 2002. In April 2003 Dr Eddie Fenech Adami had been re-elected Prime Minister after another election victory.
A few days later, on the 16th of April 2003, Dr Fenech Adami signed the Accession Treaty of Malta to the European Union, together with nine other Heads of Government of countries that were ready to become members of the European Union on the 1st of May 2004.
As Prime Minister, Dr Eddie Fenech Adami attended several European Union Summits and represented Malta at various Commonwealth Meetings. As Party Leader he went to various European People’s Party Summits. 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 of February 2004, at the age of seventy, Dr Fenech Adami offered his resignation as Leader of the Nationalist Party. On the 23rd of March 2004, Dr Eddie Fenech Adami resigned as Prime Minister as well as a Member of Parliament.
Dr Eddie Fenech Adami was married to Mary née Sciberras and they have five children, John, Beppe, Michael, Maria, and Luigi.