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[WATCH] Labour • New government cabinet appointed
Parliamentary Secretary Jose Herrera is only member not to shake Prime Minister's hand.
13 March 2013, 12:00am
It was a snub that nobody could ignore: the man who at one time was shadow justice minister, Jose Herrera, did not shake his prime minister's hand when he was swore in as parliamentary secretary for culture and local governance. Maybe this is what Joseph Muscat meant when he said that not everyone will be happy with his choice for Cabinet ministers.
But all in all, this is a large Cabinet - 15 ministers and seven parliamentary secretaries, putting an end to super-ministries and a greater diversification of portfolios.
Former MEP Louis Grech was the first to be appointed, occupying the role of deputy prime minister and minster for EU Affairs as well as the implementation of Labour's electoral programme.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat will be retaining responsibility of areas such as MEPA, lands, planning, policy-making, and coordination of priorities - giving him ownership of the separation of planning and environment inside MEPA, and not over into the hands of the environment minister.
George Vella, Karmenu Vella, and Evarist Bartolo were given the posts they last had in 1996 - respectively, foreign affairs, tourism and education, with employment added to Bartolo's portfolio. Leo Brincat was appointed minister for sustainable development, the environment, and climate change, which gives a new dimension to Malta's role in the reduction of greenhouse gases.
Bartolo will also be tasked with childcare, formerly within the social policy ministry; while Brincat will be responsible for waste-management.
Former Labour whip Joe Mizzi was appointed tranport and infrastructure minister.
Gozitan Labour politician Anton Refalo was appointed as Minister for Gozo, and Helena Dalli was appointed minister for social dialogue, consumer affairs and civil liberties.
Chris Cardona was appointed minister for the economy, investment, and small enterprise.
Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca was appointed minister for the family and social solidarity, while newly-elected MP Manuel Mallia was appointed minister for home affairs and national security, in what is a new appellation for the minister responsible for police.
In what is a curious addition, Mallia will also be responsible for public broadcasting - which was previously split between the education and investments portfolios; and takes in hand defence and the AFM, and immigration. Traditionally, defence matters were under the Prime Minister's responsibility.
Additonally, his new parliamentary secretary Owen Bonnici will be responsible for justice: exactly a year since the former justice and home affairs ministry had been split up by Lawrence Gonzi into two separate ministries.
Former MEP and economist Edward Scicluna was appointed finance minister.
Two newcomers to the Labour line-up, Konrad Mizzi and Godfrey Farrugia, were appointed minister for energy and water conservation, and health, respectively. Mizzi will also be responsible for oil exploration, the Malta Resources Authority, Enemalta, and the Water Services Corporation.
Michael Farrugia was appointed parliamentary secretary for planning and simplification of administrative processes, undoubtedly having to take on the government's bureacracy; while the House's youngest MP, Ian Borg, at 27, is parliamentary secretary for the 2017 EU presidency and EU funds.
Stefan Buontempo, on the other hand, was appointed parliamentary secretary for research, innovation, youth and sport. Roderick Galdes was appointed parliamentary secretary for agriculture, fisheries and animal rights. Edward Zammit Lewis was appointed parliamentary secretary for competitiveness and economic growth, while Franco Mercieca was appointed parliamentary secretary for the rights of the disabled and active ageing.
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