Malta mourns the sudden death of Guido de Marco

Friday, 13 Aug 2010, 08:48


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 Government has declared three days of national mourning for former President Guido de Marco, who died at 79, yesterday. A state funeral will be held on Monday afternoon in Valletta.

President Emeritus Guido de Marco will lie in State at the Palace in Valletta between tomorrow Saturday and Monday morning.

A funeral cortege will leave for St. John's Co-Cathederal in Valletta at 3.30 pm where mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Paul Cremona and other Bishops.

From Valletta, the funeral will continue in private form.

The 79 year-old former Head of State died at Mater Dei Hospital at 4.18 pm yesterday, soon after being rushed back to hospital  in a critical condition after falling ill at his home in Sliema.

Two days earlier he was discharged from hospital after recovering from serious complications before an angioplasty procedure. He was critical for two days but recovered quickly and was removed from life-support, only to comment with the media that he felt he was "born again."

The President of the Republic George Abela who rushed to Mater Dei hospital soon after he heard the news, described Guido de Marco as a "statesman, gentleman" and added that "few were the men like Guido de Marco who made a good name for Malta overseas and saluted the man as "the one who worked so hard to lead Malta into joining the European Union."

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi who is cutting short a private holiday in Germany has paid tribute to Guido de Marco describing him as an "intelligent, open hearted and a visionary."

Gonzi added that "Malta has lost one of its most respected sons."

Labour leader Joseph Muscat said De Marco was a "formidable politician and a great orator who struck people with his humanity." He said just hours before being discharged from hospital on Tuesday, De Marco had called Muscat to thank him for the interest he had taken in his health, and had asked about his own unfortunate accident earlier this week. "It was a gesture that I truly appreciated," Muscat said.

Prof. Guido de Marco was born in Valletta, Malta on July 22, 1931, and was educated at St. Aloysius' College and the University of Malta. He graduated as a Bachelor of Arts in 1952, in Philosophy, Economics and Italian and in 1955 as a Doctor of Laws.

He was married to Violet (née Saliba), and had three children: Mario, who is parliamentary secretary for tourism, and two daughters, Gianella and Fiorella, all members of the legal profession.

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