Maltese traditionalist

Tonio Borg – a candid candidate for Malta's next commissioner

When Lawrence Gonzi, Malta’s prime minister, selected John Dalli as European commissioner in 2009, he was offering the job to a former rival for his own post. There is nothing so obviously calculating about his selection of Tonio Borg to replace Dalli following the latter’s resignation. Rather, Gonzi is offering the European job to his deputy, one of his party’s principal strategists, and a crucial bulwark of his government and party. In particular, since December, when the party lost its majority, Borg’s role as leader of parliament – and the attendant right to set the assembly’s agenda – has helped the government to survive one crisis after another. 

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