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Karmenu Vella is a Maltese politician and current member of the European Commission, where he is in charge of Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. He was one of the longest serving Maltese Parliamentarian with the Malta Labour Party.
In 1968, at the age of 18, he was elected as the youngest member of the Zurrieq Civic Council until 1970. In 1976 he contested the general elections for the first time and was elected as the youngest Member of Parliament and since then he has continued serving as a Maltese Parliamentarian for thirty eight uninterrupted years as a Labour Member of Parliament. During his Parliamentary term in government, Vella has been nominated Minister for four times during the Labour Party Government. He was Minister for Public Works between 1981 and 1984, Minister for Industry from 1984 till 1987, Minister for Tourism between 1996 and 1998 and was again appointed as Tourism Minister in March 2013 until his nomination as EU Commissioner Designate in 2014. During his Parliamentary term in opposition, he served both as Shadow Minister for Tourism as well as Shadow Minister for Finance.
During his professional career, Karmenu Vella has held a number of managerial and directorship posts. In 1973 he started his own private practice as an Architect and Civil Engineer, and during that same year he was appointed a director until 1976 on Mid Med Bank - Malta. In 1974 he joined the Libyan Arab Maltese Holding Company as its Managing Director until 1981. During that period he also served as a director on a number of the company's subsidiaries which included: Mediterranean Aviation Co Ltd., Medelec Switchgear Co Ltd., Mediterranean Power Electric Co Ltd., Rotos Zirayia Pumps Co Ltd., and Plastic Processing Co Ltd. In 2001 he was appointed executive chairman of Corinthia Hotels International till 2007 and then executive chairman of Corinthia's Mediterranean Construction Co Ltd., up to 2010. In 2010 he joined Betfair Group Ltd. as a director and sat on SMS-Mondial Travel Group's Board as chairman until 2013.