DR. LAWRENCE GONZI: PRIME MINISTER OF MALTA (2004
Lawrence Gonzi took office as Prime Minister of
Malta on 23 March 2004. After the March 2008 general
elections, Lawrence Gonzi was re-elected Prime Minister and
set out to continue transforming the Maltese Islands into a
modern and dynamic European country and attain the Vision
Gonzi was born in Valletta on 1 July 1953 and is the elder
of four siblings. He received his formal education at St
Joseph school and later at St Aloysious College and The
Archbishop’s Seminary. Lawrence Gonzi was also a member of
the Circolo Gioventu` Cattolica.
He graduated from the University of Malta as a lawyer in
1975. Following that he practiced law in a private firm and
later on worked as a company lawyer with the Mizzi
Organisation for whom he served as Group Chairman between
1989 and 1997.
Lawrence Gonzi has been actively involved in the voluntary
sector, particularly in the disability rights movement and
mental health sector. He was also the General President of
the Malta Catholic Action between 1976 and 1986.
In November 1987, Lawrence Gonzi was appointed as the first
Chairman of the National Commission for the Disabled and he
retained this role until April 1994.
On 10 October 1988 he was elected Speaker of the House of
Representatives for the sixth legislature (1988-1992) and on
the 5 April 1992 he was unanimously re-elected Speaker for
the seventh legislature (1992-1996). His nomination for
Speaker was submitted by the Prime Minister and seconded by
the Leader of the Opposition. During his term as Speaker of
the House of Representatives, Lawrence Gonzi overhauled the
methods in which Parliament used to operate, such as the set
up of permanent committees. While serving as Speaker,
Lawrence Gonzi introduced new procedures with regards to the
time established for the debate between the two sides of the
House. His tenure as Speaker of the House of
Representatives exposed his modest but firm bearing, which
has helped calm frayed tempers during quite difficult
moments for the house.
Lawrence Gonzi contested the October 1996 General Elections
and was elected to Parliament. In November 1996, he was
appointed Opposition Party Whip, Secretary to the
Parliamentary Group and Shadow Minister for Social Policy.
One year after he was elected Secretary General of the
Following the September 1998 General Elections, Lawrence
Gonzi was appointed Minister for Social Policy and Leader of
the House of Representatives. He also served as Deputy Prime
Minister between May 1994 and March 2004.
In the election of 12 April 2003, Lawrence Gonzi was
re-elected and appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister
for Social Policy.
On 23 March 2004, Lawrence Gonzi was sworn in as Prime
Minister, including in his portfolio the Ministry of Finance
between 2004 and 2008.
On 1 May 2004, Malta joined the European Union and as Prime
Minister, Dr Gonzi attended the EU enlargement official
ceremony which took place in Dublin, Ireland, where the
Maltese flag was hoisted for the first time alongside those
of the 24 member states.
As Head of the Maltese Government, Lawrence Gonzi hosted the
2005 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which
was held in Malta.
During the first term of his premiership, Lawrence Gonzi
guided Malta through a restructuring process that resulted
in Malta’s economy fulfilling the required criteria for the
adoption of the euro as Malta’s national currency from 1
January 2008. He also embarked upon a drive to improve
the management of public finances, focused sharply upon
improving Malta’s competitiveness in the international
market and accelerated the restructuring process of the
On 8 March 2008, Lawrence Gonzi was re-elected Prime
Minister. In his first message to the nation at the
beginning of this legislature Lawrence Gonzi said that the
work of his government should be based on sustainable
development with an emphasis on the country’s environment.
Lawrence Gonzi is married to Catherine nee` Callus and they
have three children: David, Mikela and Paul.