Cospicua Dom Mintoff Prime Minister of Malta
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Remembering Maltese Prime Minister Dom Mintoff

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Dom Mintoff dominated the political scene in Malta for almost four decades.

Born in Cospicua in 1916, he served two terms as Prime Minister, from 1955 to 1958 and again from 1971 to 1984.

His tenure saw the creation of a comprehensive welfare state, nationalisation of large corporations, the creation of Air Malta, an increase in the general standard of living and the establishment of the Maltese republic but was later marred by a stagnant economy.

Dom Mintoff studied engineering and architecture at the University of Malta before going on a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University.

On his return to Malta, he joined the Labour Party, became its leader in 1949 and led it to victory in 1955, when at 38 he became the youngest prime minister in the Commonwealth.

He advocated Malta’s full integration with the United Kingdom and his ideas were supported by a conference of British and Maltese representatives and by a referendum.

But the negotiations foundered and Mintoff resigned in 1958.

Labour regained power in 1971 and Mr Mintoff became Prime Minister again.

He expanded the government’s involvement in the economy, set up a number of new enterprises and nationalised major business concerns in the banking and telecommunications sectors

On the international front, he actively worked for peace in Europe and the Mediterranean and drew closer to socialist and nonaligned countries.

Mr Mintoff stepped down as Prime Minister in 1984, but remained an influential backbench MP until 1998.

He died on 20 August 2012.

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