VALLETTA, April 2 (Xinhua) -- Malta's newly-appointed ministers and parliamentary secretaries (junior ministers) were sworn in by President George Abela at the Palace in Valletta on Wednesday morning.
The appointments were announced by Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on Saturday as Minister for the Family and Social Solidarity Marie Louise Coleiro Preca was nominated as the Republic's next president. Tourism Minister Karmenu Vella was nominated as Malta's next EU Commissioner. Health Minister Godfrey Farrugia and Parliamentary Secretary for the Elderly Franco Mercieca resigned ahead of the reshuffle.
The tourism ministry has become the responsibility of Edward Zammit Lewis, who was Parliamentary Secretary for Economic Competitiveness.
Chris Fearne, a medical consultant, became Parliamentary Secretary for Health. Justyne Caruana entered the cabinet as Parliamentary Secretary for the Disabled and Active Ageing, which were previously the responsibility of Franco Mercieca.
Michael Farrugia has been promoted to Minister for the Family and Social Solidarity. Before he was responsible for planning and administrative simplication. He was also minister for health between 1996 and 1998.
Parliamentary Secretary Owen Bonnici has been promoted to Justice Minister, also taking on responsibility for culture and local government. Stefan Buontempo has been promoted to Parliamentary Secretary with responsibility for culture and local councils under the Justice Ministry. He was previously responsible for sports.
Michael Falzon, a former deputy leader of the Labor Party, has been appointed Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibilities for planning and administrative simplification.
Chris Agius has been appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sports in the Education Ministry.
Serving ministers and parliamentary secretaries who had new responsibilities assigned to them did not need to be sworn in again. Among them are Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi, with additional responsibility for health (shared with Chris Fearne).
Jose Herrera's responsibilities have been changed from culture and local government to competitiveness and economic growth in the Economy Ministry.