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  • Alex Galea

5 Facts About Eddie Fenech Adami To Mark His 88th Birthday

Eddie Fenech Adami was born on February the 7th 1934 in Birkirkara. He grew up in colonial-era Malta as well as the turbulent period of the Second World War. Fenech Adami would go on to become one of Malta's most defining leaders and regardless of what one may think of his time in power, it is virtually undeniable that his tenure completely reshaped Malta's image abroad and at home.

With that being said, here are 5 things we think defined the legacy of Eddie Fenech Adami...


1. A Voice For Change In A Young Democracy

Eddie Fenech Adami brought about a change in the Maltese political narrative. Following his appointment to the role of Prime Minister in 1987, after decades of labour rule, he strengthened Malta’s infrastructure and economy. This was a key factor that aided Malta in its preparation for EU membership.

2. The European Advocate

Fenech Adami was pro-European at a time when the ruling Labour Party was staunchly against integration with Europe. He is arguably one of the key figures that positioned Malta for the next phase in its evolution as a country and member of the growing global village. Fenech Adami’s back to back election wins allowed him to achieve his political goal of making his home country a European nation, remaining the man in charge when the EU granted Malta membership in 2004, his final year as Prime Minister.

3. A Victim Of Inter-Party Violence

Politics in 1980s Malta was a violent business. Following the trend of many novel democracies, Maltese party politics in the first decades after independence tended to be extremely violent, with both parties prone to sinking to such lows.

Following the emergence of the rumour of a plot to kill the leader of the Labour party Dom Mintoff, Fenech Adami’s private residence was sacked, looted and members of his family including his wife, daughter and mother brutally beaten. This was part of a coordinated series of attacks against Nationalist institutions and independent media outlets such as The Times of Malta, which had its facilities burned down. His chief of staff Richard Cachia Caruana would also suffer a stabbing outside of his home, almost leaving him paralyzed.

4. Yalta-Malta: A Witness To The End Of Cold War Politics

Following his election to the position of Prime Minister of Malta in 1987, Fenech Adami would be the Prime Minister who would preside over the historic agreement that is largely agreed to have marked the end of the Cold War. The meeting was held in Malta between the (then) leaders of the two superpowers, George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev.

5. Longest Serving Prime Minister Since Independence

Adami has served two terms as Malta’s Prime Minister between the years of 1986-1997 where he served two consecutive terms and was later re-elected for office in 1998 where he remained till 2004. After stepping down from the post of PM he would occupy the Maltese presidency till 2009.


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