Lawrence Gonzi (born 1 July 1953) is a Maltese politician who has been Prime Minister of Malta and leader of the Nationalist Party since 2004. He was Speaker of the House of Representatives of Malta from 1988 to 1996 and Minister of Social Policy from 1998 to 2004, as well as Deputy Prime Minister from 1999 to 2004.
Speaker and Member of Parliament
In 1987, Gonzi contested the general elections unsuccessfully with the Nationalist Party. He was appointed Speaker of the House in 1988 and, in 1992, he was reappointed to the post with a unanimous vote. Gonzi contested the general elections again in 1996 and this time he was successful. As an opposition MP he served as Shadow Minister for social policy, secretary of the Nationalist parliamentary group, party whip and later general secretary of the party. In 1998 he was returned and appointed as Minister for Social Policy. In May 1999 he successfully contested the post of Deputy Leader of the party and was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the House. Following another Nationalist victory at the polls in 2003, Gonzi was reconfirmed as Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the House.
Following the resignation of Eddie Fenech Adami as party leader, Gonzi won the leadership contest held in March 2004. He was appointed Prime Minister shortly after Fenech Adami stepped down to give way for his succession. From 2004 onwards, he took responsibility for the finance portfolio as Minister of Finance, in which capacity he successfully managed the process to achieve the Maastricht criteria, propelling Malta into the Eurozone. Following the general election held on 8 March 2008, Gonzi was reconfirmed as Prime Minister. He relinquished his post as Minister of Finance but assumed responsibility for the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA), in particular its reform. He was reelected Nationalist Party leader at the general council meeting on 4 May 2008.
Lawrence Gonzi is the son of Luigi and Ines (née Galea) Gonzi, and a grandnephew of the late Archbishop Mikiel (Michael) Gonzi. His younger brother is Michael Gonzi, a Nationalist backbencher.
He is married to Catherine (née Callus); the couple has three children.
- Malta : Companion of Honour of the National Order of Merit (2004) by right as a Prime Minister of Malta