Edward Scicluna is to resign as Finance Minister and become Governor of the Central Bank of Malta, the government announced on Thursday.

He will succeed Mario Vella, who is being appointed to the new position of Special Commissioner for Economic, Financial and Trade Relations with the United Kingdom.

The appointments come into force on January 1.

Scicluna will resign as minister in the coming days and leave parliament by the end of the year, the government said.

In a statement, the government thanked Scicluna for his 'impeccable work' as Minister for Finance over the past seven years, pointing out that during that time Malta had moved from a situation of an excessive deficit procedure to the best European economy.

"His leadership of the country’s finances was instrumental to the presentation of successful budgets which created and distributed wealth and changed for the better the lives of thousands of Maltese and Gozitan families," the government said. 

It also thanked Mario Vella for his service as governor of the Central Bank of Malta.

Times of Malta had reported Scicluna's imminent departure from politics on October 28, with newly-appointed MP Clyde Caruana being widely tipped to replace him at the Finance Ministry. Caruana, an economist and former CEO of JobsMalta, is currently the head of the prime minister's secretariat.

Edward Scicluna, 74, entered the political fray when he was elected an MEP in 2009. He left the European Parliament to become Minister of Finance in 2013. 

He previously served as chairman of the Malta Council of Economic and Social Development (1999–2003) and of the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) (1997–99). He was an electoral commissioner (1987–93), and a director of the Central Bank of Malta (1996–2003).

As governor of the Central Bank he will also have a seat on the governing council of the European Central Bank.  

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