Dr.George Borg Olivier

Dr. George Borg Olivier was born in Valletta on the 5th of July, 1911. He was educated at the Lyceum, Malta, and the Royal University of Malta. 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. In 1950 he held the post of Minister of Works and Reconstruction and the post of Minister of Education in the Government led by Dr. Enrico Mizzi.
He succeeded Dr. Mizzi as Prime Minister and Minister of Justice on the latter’s death in December 1950. After the general elections held in May 1951, Borg Olivier formed a coalition Government with the Malta Works Party. He 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 the leader of Opposition.
He led the delegations in June and September 1955 for the Malta Round Table Conference and in November 1958 he led a delegation for talks in London about the restoration of self-government. Following the February 1962 election, Giorgio Borg Olivier accepted 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 the 13th of July, 1963, Borg Olivier headed a Government delegation for the Malta Independence Conference at the end of which it was announced that Malta would become independent. After having had a series of talks with the British Government and after preparing a Constitution for and independent Malta, which was endorsed by Parliament and approved by the people in a referendum held in February 1964, and the 21st September was set as Malta’s Independence Day.
On Independence Day the degree of Doctor of Literature (Honoris Causa) was conferred on Borg Olivier by the Royal University of Malta. On 25th January 1964, Borg Olivier was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Sylvester, Pope, by His Holiness Pope Paul VI. 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 the commonwealth and Foreign 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 Borg Olivier as Prime Minister and Minister of Commonwealth and Foreign Affairs. On the 14th 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 Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta. Giorgio Borg Olivier married Alexandra Mattei in 1943. They have one daughter: Angela, and two sons: Alexander and Peter. Died on 29th October 1980.

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