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MIRIAM DALLI IN a first since three decades ago, Malta's ninth president will be a woman, as well as the youngest Head of State. Prime Minister Joseph Mus- cat has officially nominated Social Policy Minister Marie Louise Coleiro Preca as George Abela's successor. Coleiro Preca will be given a month's time before she is officially appointed as President of the Republic, at which point Abela's term expires. At 55, the minister from Qormi is the Labour government's most popular minister. Coleiro Preca was appointed minister for the first time last year after 35 years of active par- ticipation in politics. The PM drove home the message that Coleiro Preca's nomination was his "own decision". Addressing a press conference at Auberge de Castille, Muscat de- scribed Coleiro Preca's appointment as "historic" and "one step closer to the birth of the second Republic". While congratulating Coleiro Preca on her nomination, the Opposition said it would be taking an official stand over the appointment during a Parliamentary group meeting to be held in the coming days. PN leader Simon Busuttil said the Opposition had not been consulted. In a rebuttal, Muscat said he fol- lowed the "procedure" used by former PN prime minister Eddie Fenech Adami when he appointed Censu Tabone, Ugo Mifsud Bonnici and Guido de Marco as presidents. Muscat said he was stepping away from the 'tradition' of basing the Pres- idential appointment on a "political game": "I could have easily followed the tradition of appointing a man, ideally a lawyer, moving towards the end of his political career, and given him a retirement gift." According to Muscat, Coleiro Preca represented all that one should ex- pect from a head of state in a country that was celebrating 50 years since becoming Independent and 40 years since becoming a Republic. As the new President, she will be leading Malta towards the EU presi- dency and monitoring the constitu- tional reform. Stressing that Coleiro Preca was chosen because the next President "needs to have a lot of energy," Mus- cat said the people knew what she stands for. "She stands for the best values, for the values of the family and the values of a woman who made her own deci- sions," he said. As President, Coleiro Preca will be given the "tools" and the responsibil- ity of the National Strategy against Poverty, the food aid programme, the National Forum for the Fam- ily, the National Commission for the Family, the National Commission for Development and Children Strategy, the Commission against Domestic Violence, the Commission against substance abuse and the National Prevention Agency. "Marie Louise will be the country's social soul. Her presidency will not be ceremonial. She will be given new so- cial responsibilities and give the pres- idency a new purpose," Muscat said. Even though the President does not hold any executive powers, the Prime Minister said she would be provided with more resources and tools, including financial and human resources. "Coleiro Preca will be the govern- ment's point of reference, and I'm sure she will not shy away from pub- licly drawing our attention," he said. Describing the new role he was giv- ing to a President as "a huge reform", Muscat insisted that a President would now have a bigger role in so- ciety, "championing the social policy minister". €0.90 WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT WEDNESDAY EDITION WEDNESDAY • 5 March 2014 • issue 354 • published every wednesday and sunday Newspaper post Editorial - PAGE 11 letters of credit ship nance payments forfaiting factoring 2132 2100 FIMBank is an international trade nance specialist with an established reputation as a dynamic and customer-driven provider of trade nance solutions. FIMBank is headquartered in Malta and benets from a growing network of international oces. documentary collections bonds and guarantees treasury management structured trade nance commodity trade nance letters of credit ship nance payments forfaiting factoring Trade Finance Solutions engineered for business success SEE FULL STORY ON BACK PAGE SEE FULL INTERVIEW PGS 8, 9 MARIE LOUISE NOMINATED MALTA'S NINTH PRESIDENT PHOTOGRAPHY BY RAY ATTARD One in five chance of striking oil – Hayward Tony Hayward (inset) will be speaking at the Economist Events' Business Roundtable who will be remembered for his role in the biggest environmental disaster in US history THE man who captained BP when the worst oil disaster hit the US, has told MaltaToday that there is a "one in five chance" of striking oil off Malta's coast and argues that the industry has taken steps to improve safety after the Deepwater Horizon incident. Tony Hayward, current CEO of GENEL – one of the compa- nies drilling for oil off Malta's coast – was the chief executive of oil and energy company BP at the time of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which is con- sidered to be the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. Hayward will be addressing up- coming Economist Events' Business Roundtable with the Government of Malta, on 7 March. In an exclusive interview with MaltaToday, Hay- ward reveals that there is a "one in five chance" of striking oil off Malta's coast, and argues that the industry has taken steps to improve safety after the Deepwater Horizon incident. In 2012 GENEL, of which Hay- ward is now CEO, acquired a 75% interest in Area 4 (Blocks 4, 5, 6 and 7), south of Malta, from Mediterra- nean Oil & Gas. "We plan to commence drilling a well on what is named 'the Hagar Qim prospect', Block 4, around the end of March. The rig itself is oper- ated by an internationally renowned contractor, Noble Corporation, and results can be expected in May." Prime Minister Joseph Muscat (right) drove home the message that Marie Louise Coleiro Preca's nomination for President was "his own decision"

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