Four new ministers were appointed tonight and three others had their ministries changed in a Cabinet reshuffle announced by Prime Minister Robert Abela.
As expected, Clyde Caruana will be replacing Edward Scicluna as Finance Minister, and taking on responsibility for employment, while former MEP Miriam Dalli will be taking over energy, enterprise and sustainable development portfolio.
Caruana and Dalli were co-opted to Parliament after the recent resignation of former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and backbencher Etienne Grech.
They were both expected to be named ministers in a reshuffle.
Abela, until early this week, had rejected speculation that he was to announce changes to his line-up. But it was clear that the co-option of Caruana and Dalli had not been for them to fill up the government backbench.
Dalli left a lucrative post in Brussels to enter the Maltese Parliament, and would not have accepted such a drastic change to just be part of the team. She wanted a prominent role, and was given one
Caruana had been earlier earmarked as the ideal replacement for Scicluna.
What was the largest Cabinet ever has been extended further. Malta now has 21 Ministers and six parliamentary secretaries.
Justyne Caruana (above) will be returning to the Cabinet as Minister of Education, with Owen Bonnici moving to research and innovation, with the added responsibility of coordination after Covid-19.
Justyne Caruana was named Gozo Minister in January, but she was forced to resign after it had been reported that her husband Silvio Valletta had travelled abroad with Yorgen Fenech, the man accused of masterminding the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. Valletta had been assistant police commissioner at the time.
Michael Farrugia has been moved to the Ministry for the Elderly while Julia Farrugia Portelli lost the tourism portfolio and has been named Minister for Inclusion and Quality of Life.
She is replaced by Clayton Bartolo (above), who has been promoted from Parliamentary secretary to Minister for Tourism.
Silvio Parnis has been moved out of the Cabinet, along with Scicluna, who will take on the role of Governor of the Central Bank.
The OPM said the changes characterise the Cabinet as a united and taltented one, with a strong element of youth and with the participation of all female members of the Labour Parliamentary Group. The PM’s priority is to ensure that the country keeps moving strongly forward and implements more changes and reforms that improve people’s quality of life. In talks with the Cabinet members, the PM emphasised on the need for social justice, job creation and an investment climate that prepares the country for the future.
It was also announced that Glenn Micallef has been appointed as the OPM’s head of secretariat, a post that was previously called Chief of Staff. He will be replacing Clyde Caruana.
Micallef has a degree in economics and European policy.
Over the past few years, he has occupied the role of Director General of the European Union Coordination Department. He has also been serving as the PM’s advisor on European Affairs since January of this year, and was part of the team that negotiated Malta’s €2.25 billion fund allocation.
Many ministers remained in the same portfolio they were given in January.
Chris Fearne retained health, Evarist Bartolo remains Foreign Minister, Jose Herrera stays on as Minister for national heritage, arts and local government, Carmelo Abela remains a minister at the OPM, Ian Borg continues to be responsible for transport, infrastructure and capital projects, Michael Falzon responsible for solidarity and social justice, Edward Zammit Lewis holds on to justuce, equality and governance, Anton Refalo retains agriculture and fisheries while Roderick Galdes remains minister for social accommodation.
Silvio Schembri stays on as Minister for the Economy, but has been given the industry portfolio instead of investment and small businesses, which was given to Miriam Dalli.
Aaron Farrugia remains responsible for the environment and Clint Camilleri retains the Gozo Ministry, while Byron Camilleri continues as Home Affairs Minister.
The parliamentary secretaries remain in their position except for Deo Debattista who is now responsible for consumer protection and public cleansing within the Tourism Ministry.
Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister: Chris Fearne
Minister for Foreign and EU Affairs: Evarist Bartolo
Minister for the Elderly and Active Ageing: Michael Farrugia
Minister for Research, Innovation and the Coordination of the post-COVID-19 Strategy: Owen Bonnici
Minister for National Heritage, Arts and Local Governance: Jose Herrera
Minister Within the Office of the Prime Minister: Carmelo Abela
Parliamentary Secretary for EU funds: Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi
Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects: Ian Borg
Minister for Solidarity, Social Justice, the Family and Children’s Rights: Michael Falzon
Minister for Justice, Equality and Governance: Edward Zammit Lewis
Parliamentary Secretary for Civil Liberties and Reforms: Rosianne Cutajar
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Animal Rights: Anton Refalo
Minister for Social Accommodation: Roderick Galdes
Minister for Education: Justyne Caruana
Minister for the Economy and Industry: Silvio Schembri
Minister for Inclusion and Quality of Life: Julia Farrugia Portelli
Parliamentary Secretary for sports, recreation and voluntary organisations: Clifton Grima
Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning: Aaron Farrugia
Parliamentary Secretary for Construction: Chris Agius
Minister for Gozo: Clint Camilleri
Minister for Home Affairs, National Security and Law Enforcement: Byron Camilleri
Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship and Communities: Alex Muscat
Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection: Clayton Bartolo
Parliamentary Secretary for Consumer Protection and Public Cleanliness: Deo Debattista
Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development: Miriam Dalli
Minister for Finance and Employment: Clyde Caruana