[SLIDESHOW] Final farewells bid to Lino Spiteri

Photos from Monday's funeral of former Labour minister and author Lino Spiteri who passed away on Friday, aged 76

Photo: Chris Mangion
Photo: Chris Mangion
Photo: Chris Mangion
Photo: Chris Mangion
Photo: Chris Mangion
Photo: Chris Mangion
Photo: Chris Mangion
Photo: Chris Mangion
Photo: Chris Mangion
Photo: Chris Mangion
Photo: Chris Mangion
Photo: Chris Mangion
Photo: Chris Mangion
Photo: Chris Mangion
Photo: Chris Mangion
Photo: Chris Mangion

Former Labour minister and author Lino Spiteri has been laid to rest after passing away on Friday, aged 76, after a long battle with terminal illness. The funeral was held at a packed St. Paul's Cathedral in Mdina. 
Spiteri's last foray in politics was in 1998, having retired after resigning as finance minister from the Sant administration of 1996-1998. But he remained one of Malta's most prolific writers and political analysts, with his keen eye for detail and incisive dissection of politics never departing from him.
His early start in politics saw him elected to the House at 23, serving as a Labour MP for the next 21 years. He was a member of the Labour cabinet as finance and trade minister in the 1980s, having sparred at times with the blustering Dom Mintoff.
He was also a deputy governor for the Central Bank in the 1970s, witnessing the rapid industrial changes under the Mintoff government and the nationalisation of private banks.
After the resignation of Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici in 1992 as Opposition leader, he unsuccessfuly ran for Labour leader, being beaten to the post by Alfred Sant. By 1997, he had fallen out with Sant and took the momentous decision to step down as finance minister.
Spiteri admitted that contesting the 1996 election when he disagreed with his party's pledge to remove VAT, was his gravest mistake. “When Dr Sant announced that the party would remove VAT he hadn't consulted anybody. He didn't consult me as shadow finance minister. When that happened in 1994 I should have immediately resigned, but I didn't."
He resigned from the Cabinet in 1997.
Spiteri also said he had voted for EU membership.
In 2008, he was awarded Ġieħ ir-Repubblika and made Companion of the Order of Merit.
Tributes pour in
Tributes to Lino Spiteri have poured in, from the likes of former Prime Minister Eddie Fenech Adami, former Presidents Ugo Mifsud Bonnici and George Abela, former EU Commissioner John Dalli, and several authors. 
"The latest memory [of Spiteri], which will be a lasting one, was the tremendous dignity with which lately he bore his murderous illness," Professor Dominic Fenech said. "He knew all along how serious his condition was... A man with his days counted who did not for a second succumb to self-pity."
 

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