Published: March 8, 2011 at 10:44pm


Libye: un commissaire européen présente ses excuses

En charge de la santé et de la protection des consommateurs, John Dalli a été contraint d’exprimer des regrets après avoir affirmé que l’UE n’avait pas à s’ingérer dans la crise libyenne. Une position qui va à l’encontre de la ligne adoptée par sa propre administration.

Le commissaire en charge de la santé et de la protection des consommateurs, John Dalli, s’est excusé publiquement pour avoir laissé entendre que l’UE ne devrait pas interférer dans la crise libyenne.

“Je ne pense pas que moi ou n’importe qui d’autre ait le droit d’interférer sur la situation du colonel Kadhafi” avait-il déclaré à la presse maltaise le 4 mars. “Les médias traitent presque cela comme une téléréalité, et parfois, je me demande si les images ne sont pas manipulées par les médias”, a-t-il dit, interrogé lors d’une réunion sur la compétitivité de l’UE à Malte.


Cette phrase du commissaire Dalli s’est révélée embarassante pour la Commission européenne, quelque jours avant le sommet extraordinaire des chefs d’Etat et de gouvernement du 11 mars. Lors de ce sommet, les dirigeants européens envisageront la création d’une zone d’exclusion aérienne au-dessus de la Libye afin d’éviter la propagation d’une guerre civile à toute l’Afrique du nord.

Le 2 mars, le président de la Commission européenne, José Manuel Barroso, avait fait un appel vibrant en soutien à l’insurrection libyenne.”Je m’adresse tout particulièrement aux jeunes arabes qui sont en train de se battre pour la liberté et la démocratie : nous sommes de votre côté”, a-t-il déclaré avec empathie.

Conflit d’intérêts?

La dissension du commissaire Dalli au sein de la Commission européenne a été rapidement liée aux relations commerciales qu’il a eu avec la Libye dans le passé. D’après la déclaration d’intérêts publiée sur le site de la Commission, le commissaire possède une maison à Tripoli et était directeur d’une société fabricant des miroirs en Libye.

“Je regrette si l’une de mes remarques a pu donner l’impression erronée que je ne soutiens pas la position du président Barroso sur la situation en Libye”, a-t-il écrit dans une déclaration publiée le 6 mars.

25 Comments Comment

  1. ciccio2011 says:

    As one paper after the other reports about this matter, it is becoming clearer that the Commissioner has made a very serious error of judgement here.

    We have had a strong tradition where Maltese representatives abroad do their utmost to present Malta in the best light possible. All Maltese are ambassadors for Malta because there are so few of us. Everybody who meets a Maltese person remembers him or her for that reason.

    In all international fora, we start with a major hurdle because we are a small country and have to earn credibility and trust first. This incident may give ammunition to counterparts from larger countries when they deal with us, who may think that size matters.

    In terms of his own affairs, Mr. Dalli has given the international media the opportunity to focus on his relations with Libya at a time when this must have been the last thing he would have wanted.

    Now my suspicion is that, unless there is pressure in Malta, he will not resign.

    • H.P. Baxxter says:

      You’re only an ambassador for Malta if your pay cheque comes from Malta, or if you’ve been appointed by the Maltese government. Otherwise, you’re just an ambassador for yourself.

      On the question of John Dalli, we must be deluding ourselves if we think he will ever resign.

      • Anthony Farrugia says:

        H.P.Baxxter: This is for you as you are into strategy and military tactics.

      • H.P. Baxxter says:

        Boring. This war is getting very old, very fast. The rebels need to stop being 21st century Facebook wimps and get used to the fact that some of them will have to die on the way to Tripoli. A no-fly zone will achieve precisely nothing. I could explain why, but I’d have to be paid. I don’t do comedy (“penny-a-laugh”? I’ve never laughed on this blog. I was always fuming with anger.)

        As for that Guardian article, “Britain may seek access to old bases in Malta”? What, Kalafrana airfield? Hal Far? I mean really.

    • Another John says:

      Ciccio, I do not subscribe to your opinion. Mr. Dalli is not an ambassador for Malta. Although he might be referred to as ‘Maltese’ in the media. And no one should harbour the illusion that he will resign (if he did, he would still laugh his way off to his continued business interests).

      What I find as a continuation of his insults towards any listeners, is his second recant when he said that his first statement was misinterpreted, thus implying that those who listened to him are in the wrong, and not himself, who imparted the discordant message. Like adding insult to injury.

      And then comes Tonio Borg (who most of the time I like a lot, despite his, at times, excessive, conservatism), and tells us that Dalli has issued a clarification. Dalli should have issued a clear and simple apology, directed mostly to the Libyan people.

  2. Bus Driver says:

    One gets the drift, but someone could do a great public service by posting on this blog a translation into English that all may better know that John Dalli is no longer fit to retain his post as EU Commissioner. He comments are a disgrace to himself, to Malta, and to the EU.

  3. Harry Purdie says:

    Un autre clou dans son cercueil. Pauvre homme.

  4. David says:

    A common misperception of Malta and the Maltese, dangerously so most of the politicians, is that what happens here or the things people say has no relevance internationally. Not any more! It would be better if this country learns not to appear on the news for all the wrong reasons.

  5. John Schembri says:

    Nahseb li Dalli ried jitfa botta jew opinjoni kontra dik ta’ Gonzi, bhas-soltu, li qal li zmien Gaddafi spicca u ghandu jinzel minn postu. Ried juri li fuq il-Libja u l-Libjani Gonzi ma jifhimx daqsu.

    Tant kemm kien mohhu f’Gonzi li ma kienx jaf x’kien qed jiddikjara Barroso ta’ fuqu. U kif nghidu:”ghassadha”.

    Jigri hafna hekk meta tkun qed tilghab loghba skakki, tkun mohhok kif se toqtol lir-re u ma tintebahx li ghandek ir-regina tieghek fil-periklu.

  6. Anthony says:

    The least Lawrence Gonzi can do at next Friday’s meeting is to publicly dissociate himself, his government and the entire nation from this shameful outburst.

    We must demonstrate to the civilised world that we Maltese have no truck with the servants of Mammon who we rightly consider to be one of the seven princes of hell.

  7. Rover says:

    I have just watched a ten minute film and commentary on the battle for Zawiya by Alex Crawford of Sky News. No doubt it was all faked for our benefit as John Dalli suspects.

    A serious error of judgement indeed.

  8. A Grech says:


    Libya: a European commissioner apologises

    John Dalli, the Commissioner responsible for Health and Consumer Protection, was forced to express his regret at having said that the EU had no business interfering in the Libyan crisis, a position that runs contrary to the line adopted by the administration he forms part of.
    The Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, John Dalli, publicly apologised for suggesting that the EU should not interfere in the Libyan crisis.
    “I do not think that I or anyone else has the right to interfere in the situation of Colonel Gaddafi” he had told the Maltese press on March 4th. “The media is almost treating it like a reality show, and sometimes I wonder if the images have not been manipulated by the media,” he said, when asked at a meeting on the EU’s competitiveness in Malta.

    These utterings of Commissioner Dalli proved embarrassing to the European Commission, coming some days before the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government on 11th March. At the summit, EU leaders will consider the establishment of a No-Fly Zone over Libya in order to prevent the spread of civil war to the whole of North Africa.
    On 2nd March the European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, made a heartfelt appeal for support to the Libyan insurgents. “I appeal particularly to young Arabs who are now fighting for freedom and democracy: we are on your side, ” he said with empathy.

    Conflict of interest?
    Dalli’s dissenting view to that of Commissioner in the European Commission was quickly linked to trade relations he had with Libya in the past. According to the Statement of Interests published on the website of the Commission, the Commissioner owns a house in Tripoli and was a company director of a manufacturer of mirrors in Libya.
    “I regret if any of my remarks may have given the erroneous impression that I do not support the position of President Barroso on the situation in Libya,” he wrote in a statement released on March 6th.

  9. Anthony Farrugia says:

    Yesterday was the 100th Anniversary of Woman’s Day and we had Sky’s Alex Crawford reporting from Zawiyah – ducking behind walls because of sniper fire, reversing at top speed down the town’s streets to get away from Gaddafi forces, visiting hospitals filled with with wounded men, women and children all, as John Dalli would have us believe, from Hollywood Central Casting, although the blood and wounds seemed a tad too realistic; Sky’s Lisa Holland was in Tripoli with Libyan minders on her coat-tails so that she would not report anything out of the regime’s line. Now that’s front-line reporting.

  10. Steve says:

    I’ve never really had an opinion on John Dalli either way to be honest. I’ve always thought your rants (for want of a better word) against him, were some kind of personal vendetta. I now know you were right all along.

    [Daphne – The trouble is that the people who read my stuff tend to forget that I actually know the people I write about.]

    • Steve says:

      I guess so, although the fact you know them could easily lead one to believe it’s a personal thing.

      [Daphne – I get it. So with your reasoning, it’s best for journalists to avoid knowing people so that they can write about them without it being thought ‘personal’. A journalist who writes about politics HAS TO know as many politicians as possible and speak to them as often as possible. That’s the way it works. ]

      You see I don’t know John Dalli. So I would have to take whatever you say as gospel, and I’m far too worldly to accept anything anyone says or writes without a little pinch of salt. In this case, I apologise for doubting you. You were right all along.

  11. commenters take it to Los Angeles. You just have to read the flood of moronic remarks beneath this piece. How revealing: defensiveness, inferiority complex, xenophobia, literalism and above all – no sense of humour.

  12. goldie says:

    John Dalli’s bag must be full enough by now to hang it up for good. At his age he should try to repent, keep quiet and stop appearing on TV and newspapers. The Maltese have had enough of this leech.

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