Wednesday 24 October 2012

Dalli is damned

EU President Barroso has sent disgraced former Health Commissioner John Dalli a letter which seethes with contempt. Dalli has been making his case—and changing his story—in a variety of fringe media outlets since his resignation. In recent days, he has claimed—somewhat pathetically—that he never really resigned at all. Barroso points out that he very much did. He goes on to discuss Dalli's "equally incomprehensible" claims and asks him, probably in vain, to act with "integrity"—the implication here, I think, is that he is the victim of some sort of Big Tobacco conspiracy.

"Mr Dalli,

I received your letter of 21 October 2012.

I would like to inform you that I am unable to accept the statements and claims made in your letter.

During our meeting on 16 October 2012, you have yourself unambiguously declared your immediate resignation, before the Director General of the Legal Service and the Head of my Private Office. Under the Treaty, no written form is required for a declaration of resignation, and it is irrevocable.

As a consequence, no further question arises about the effectiveness of your resignation.

Your various complaints and accusations of illegal or incorrect conduct vis-à-vis you that you have advanced in several statements since 17 October 2012 are equally incomprehensible. In this respect, I would remind you that you have had in good time several opportunities to react to the issues raised with regard to the OLAF investigation.

Finally, in the light of certain statements and insinuations you have made in relation to the process of preparation of the revised directive on tobacco, I wish to remind you of your obligation, as a former Commissioner, to behave with integrity in accordance with Article 245 TFEU. As the OLAF investigation confirmed, the decision making process of the Commission in the tobacco file has not been affected and, as foreseen in its Work Programme, the Commission will proceed with this proposal."

Dalli is a dead man walking. It is hard to believe Barosso would send such a letter if he was not confident that the evidence existed to take him down.

Alternatively, of course, you can believe that the EU is a pro-tobacco institution and that a little-known Swedish smokeless tobacco industry somehow framed Dalli and then organised a break-in of various offices in Brussels for no apparent reason. It is fitting that anti-tobacco EU sock puppets (and George Monbiot) should make such tinfoil hat accusations without any evidence whatsoever. Long may they continue to do so, for the closer they get to this discredited and corrupt individual, the more they sully themselves.


I had my say about a weird week in tobacco control in Malta Today at the weekend. On a different note, there's an article about minimum pricing and my latest IEA report at the New Statesman.


Mac the Knife said...

'to behave with integrity in accordance with Article 245 TFEU.'

THIS?!! From Barosso?! FaD. Please Chris, don't post things like that. I laughed so hard I thought I was going to burst something...

Dick Puddlecote said...

The tone of the letter is also compounded by the address of "Mr Dalli". This despite Dalli writing to Barroso with the rather nmore friendly "Jose Manuel".

Something tells me Barroso is pretty disgusted with Dalli. ;)

Anonymous said...

Dalligate has a second victim. Christiaan Timmermans (NL), Chairman of the Supervisory Committee of OLAF, resigned two days ago."He failed to properly inform the board about the details of Dalli's alleged misconduct before handing the information to the Maltese authorities."
The resignation of 'Johnny Cash' a.k.a. John Dalli hit the air very quickly, this news broke after two days. I do not know if a reptile has feelings but I think Jose Manuel is feeling the heat.

Ben said...

What a silly statement (citing the Malta Independant):
'“For me, it’s 100% industry-commissioned,” Luk Joossens, a Belgian expert at a cancer-prevention organisation, told [...]'.

How would an "expert of a cancer-prevention organisation" know ...

And then, what does he know about cancer-prevention?

"He said the planned Europe-wide directive would have been aimed at making tobacco products less attractive by introducing bigger health warnings on cigarette packets and removing flavouring from some lines that are popular with young women smokers."

Wow, talk about loss of confidential data. Here he summarizes the whole data in one sentence. What else could there be, that we didn't know yet?

Ivan D said...

Prior to this, I had tended to regard Monbiot as more foolish and misguided than genuinely nasty. This pathetic attempt to frame "big" tobacco based on no evidence whatsoever exposes him as an unethical, unprincipled creature. Thanks for finally convincing me that he is undeserving of any sympathy or respect whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

The Lancet has an article and a podcast on the affair. Dalli was allowed to speak freely in the podcast and the break-in was also mentioned not very critically.

(right click on your mouse and use save... as to download)

"The smokeless conspiracy: scandal, break-ins, and tobacco feature this week as we speak to the former EU Commissioner, John Dalli, who has been caught up in the biggest corruption probe to hit the European Union's top ranks in years."