Malta appoints new finance minister

VALLETTA, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Economist Clyde Caruana was appointed finance minister in a Cabinet reshuffle by Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela on Saturday evening.

Caruana served as chairman of the government’s jobs agency and lectured economics at the University of Malta before becoming Abela’s chief of staff in January. He was co-opted to parliament in November.

He succeeds Edward Scicluna, who resigned on Thursday to become governor of the Central Bank of Malta.

Caruana faces an uphill task to return state finances to surplus after they were knocked into the red by the economic consequences of COVID-19. The Mediterranean island had registered a surplus for several years.

Abela on Saturday also announced that former MEP Miriam Dalli is being appointed minister of energy and enterprise. (Reporting by Christopher Scicluna, editing by Louise Heavens)