Prime Minister of the island republic of Malta. Affectionately known as 'Eddie' by half of the population. Called various other names by the other half. This reflects the partisan, political divide which pervades Maltese politics.

The Hon Dr Edward Fenech-Adami took office as Prime Minister in September 1998 following parliamentary elections which gave his Christian Democrat - Nationalist Party (PN) its largest majority since the Second World War.

Dr Fenech-Adami was born in 1934 . He was educated at the University of Malta where he first studied economics and the classics and later law. He joined the PN in the early 1960s and entered parliament in 1969. In 1977, having served in a number of senior party posts, he was elected party leader.

In the 1981 elections the PN obtained an absolute majority of the vote, but did not have a parliamentary majority and so continued in opposition. After constitutional changes were made to ensure that the party winning an absolute majority of votes would also have a parliamentary majority, the PN won the 1987 elections and took over the government, led by Dr Fenech-Adami.

The PN was defeated by the Labour Party in the 1996 elections, but the period of opposition was short-lived, with the PN winning the elections of 1998.

Eddie is now determined to drag Malta kicking and screaming into the century of the fruitbat. How? By joining the European Union. Under his guidance Malta has survived the shift from socialist to a capitalist economy, strengthened its democratic base, degraded its environmental respectability and improved its standing in the Eurovision Song Contest.

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