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Giorgio Borg Olivier

Painted by Esprit Barthet - Oil on Canvas - (122x91cm)

In office
1950 – 1951
Monarch George VI
Preceded by Enrico Mizzi

In office
1951 – 1953
Monarch George VI
Elizabeth II

In office
1953 – 1955
Monarch Elizabeth II
Succeeded by Dom Mintoff

In office
1962 – 1966
Monarch Elizabeth II
Preceded by office abolished, 1958-1962

In office
1966 – 1971
Monarch Elizabeth II
Succeeded by Dom Mintoff

Born July 5, 1911(1911-07-05)
Died 29 October 1980 (aged 69)
Political party Nationalist Party

Giorgio Borg Olivier (Maltese: Ġorġ Borġ Olivier) (5 July 1911 - 29 October 1980) was twice Prime Minister of Malta (1950 to 1955 and 1962 to 1971) as the Leader of the Nationalist Party. He was also Leader of the Opposition between 1955 and 1958 and again between 1971 and 1977. He resigned from Leader of the Nationalist Party in 1977 and was succeeded by Eddie Fenech Adami. However, he retained his parliamentary seat until his death in 1980.

Dr. G. Borg Olivier was born in Valletta son of Olivier Borg Olivier de Puget Paleologo and Rosa Amato-Pace. He was educated at the Lyceum, Malta, and the Royal University of Malta where he graduated Doctor of Laws in 1937. In 1939 he was elected to the Council of Government. With the return of responsible Government in 1947 Dr. Borg Olivier was elected to the Legislative Assembly and was later Deputy Leader of the Opposition. In 1950 he held the post of Minister of Works and Reconstruction and the post of Minister of Education in the Nationalist Minority Government led by Dr Enrico Mizzi. He succeeded Dr. Mizzi as leader of the Nationalist Party, Prime Minister and Minister of Justice in a Minority Government on the latter's death in December 1950.

After the general elections held in May 1951, Dr. Borg Olivier formed a coalition Government with the Malta Works Party. Dr. Borg Olivier was Head of the new Government, he retained the Ministry of Works and Reconstruction. He was again returned to office in 1953 and was Head of a Coalition Government with the Malta Worker's Party until he was defeated in 1955. From 1955 to 1958 Dr. Borg Olivier was leader of Opposition. He led the Nationalist Party delegations in June and September 1955 for the Malta Round Table Conference and in November 1958 he led the Party delegation for talks in London about the restoration of self-government.

Following the February 1962 election, Dr. Borg Olivier agreed to form a Government after obtaining important amendments to the Constitution. In addition to being Prime Minister, he assumed the portfolio of Minister of Economic Planning and Finance. In June he made a formal request for Independence and in September of the same year he attended the Commonwealth Prime Minister's Meeting.

On 13 July 1963, Dr. Borg Olivier headed a Government delegation for the Malta Independence Conference at the end of which it was announced that Malta would become independent. On 25 January 1964, Dr. Borg Olivier was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Sylvester, Pope, by His Holiness Pope Paul VI. After having had a series of talks with the British Government and after preparing a Constitution for an independent Malta, which was endorsed by Parliament and approved by the people in a referendum held in February 1964, Dr. Giorgio Borg Olivier set 21 September as Malta's Independence Day.


On Independence Day the degree of Doctor of Literature (Honoris Causa) was conferred on Dr. Borg Olivier by the Royal University of Malta.

In November 1964, he was received by His Holiness Pope Paul VI and made Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Pius IX. In March 1965, he became Minister of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in addition to his duties as Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Planning and Finance. In the General Elections held in March 1966, the Nationalist Party was again returned to power with Dr. Borg Olivier as Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. On 14 June 1968, Dr. Borg Olivier was decorated with the Grand Cross of Merit of the Order of Malta by the Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Hospitallier Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta.

His funeral was followed by thousands of people who went to Valletta to pay their last tributes to Borg Olivier. This marked a new era for the Nationalist Party which at the time was the Opposition party. A monument in honour of George Borg Olivier was erected in Castille Square, Valletta in 1989, as part of the events commemorating the 25th anniversary of Independence.

Dr. G. Borg Olivier married Alexandra Mattei in 1943. They had one daughter, Angela, and two sons, Alexander and Peter. Borg Olivier's wife, Alexandra, died on Wednesday 25 February, 2009, aged 87.

Political offices
Preceded by
Enrico Mizzi
Prime Minister of Malta
1950–1955
Succeeded by
Dominic Mintoff
Preceded by
Office abolished
Prime Minister of Malta
1962–1971
Succeeded by
Dominic Mintoff
Party political offices
Preceded by
Enrico Mizzi
Leader of the Nationalist Party
1950–1977
Succeeded by
Eddie Fenech Adami
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