Joseph Muscat: Maltese Prime Minister marred by scandal | Malta News

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Joseph Muscat became Prime Minister of Malta in 2013 at age 39 and remained in power despite corruption scandals that harassed him and his associates.

Born on January 22, 1974 in the city of Pieta, Muscat studied at a Jesuit school and was awarded. Doctorate from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom.

He began his career as a journalist, working for the media arm of the Labor Party between 1992 and 1997.

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Despite having previously expressed his opposition to Malta's entry into the European Union, Muscat was elected to the European Parliament in 2004.

He later resigned and became the head of the Labor Party in 2008.

Family of journalist killed in Malta demands official investigation

Many saw Muscat as too green and shameless when he became prime minister, but he managed to win both the old guard and the younger members of the party.

"When he came to power, many felt that Muscat was too young, too enterprising, too sure of himself," a local newspaper said, adding that he injected a "new feeling,quot; into the party.

He was re-elected in June 2017 with an overwhelming majority, thanks to the solid economic results that saw the small Mediterranean island enjoy an economic growth rate three times higher than the EU average and an unemployment rate of just 3.4 percent.

It was the first time since the independence of Great Britain in 1964 that the Labor Party had won two successive elections in Malta.

The image unravels

Muscat had called early legislative elections after some if his associates were accused of corruption by investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Caruana Galicia also claimed that Muscat's wife, Michelle, owned a ghost company established by the Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca.

The remains of the car of the journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who investigated the corruption and was killed in 2017. The investigation of the growing murder shook the government of Joseph Muscat (Rene Rossignaud / AP Photo)

Muscat's image began to crumble after Caruana Galizia died in a car bomb in October 2017 near her home.

Three men, the brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio and their friend Vincent Muscat, all in their fifties, have been accused of firing the bomb in their car.

Malta: Car bomb kills Panama Papers anti-corruption journalist

The growing murder investigation shook the island and claimed high-level scalp, with two ministers and Muscat's chief of staff, Keith Schembri, resigning his charges.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of the capital Valletta on Friday after Muscat refused to give immunity to the main suspect in the 2017 murder, tycoon Yorgen Fenech, accused Saturday of complicity in the murder of the mother of three children, to reveal what he knows

Fenech is the owner of 17 Black, a Dubai-based company that was supposedly created to transfer money to Panamanian companies, Hearnville Inc and Tillgate Inc, owned by former energy minister Konrad Mizzi and former Muscat cabinet chief Schembri .

Malta Muscat

Protesters carry posters mocking Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, his chief of staff Keith Schembri and tourism minister Konrad Mizzi nine months after Caruana Galizia died in a car bomb attack (Darrin Zammit Lupi / Reuters)

In a nationally televised speech announcing his plan to resign, Muscat made no link to the murder of Caruana Galizia, saying he was resigning "since this is what needs to be done."

"As prime minister, I promised two years ago that justice would be done in the case of the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia," Muscat said. "Today I am here to tell you that I kept my word."