Published: March 8, 2011 at 10:36pm



Two days after the Commission chief, President Barroso, called for the Libyan leader to step down, Maltese Commissioner, John Dalli, told a business breakfast organised by the Malta Business Bureau, that Gaddafi should “make his own decisions” about standing down, adding he, “didn’t think [he] had the right, or anyone else, to make a statement on whether he should step down.”

He went on to seemingly agree with the Libyan leaders’ claim that the unrest in the North Africa region was all a media myth and said Gaddafi had been ‘conciliatory’.

Initially, Barroso’s team tried to downplay the remarks, saying he was speaking in a personal capacity. However, after taking so long to speak with a unified voice, Dalli’s remarks were seen as an embarrassment ahead of a EU Summit on North Africa this week.

Dalli has long ties with the Tripoli regime, including supporting business connections during the time Libya was under UN sanctions after the terroist bombing of Pan Am 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie. Dalli also has a home in Tripoli.

“I regret if any of the remarks I made on Friday have conveyed the false impression that I do not support the position communicated by President Barroso on the situation in Libya on Wednesday 2 March,” Dalli said in a statement.

He continued, “Some of my remarks were interpreted out of context and considered to be in contradiction with the president’s statements. I am of course fully behind the position expressed by the president on behalf of the Commission. The main point I was making regarding Mr Gaddafi in my personal remarks, strongly condemning any violence, was that Mr Gaddafi must follow the will of his people.”

9 Comments Comment

  1. C Falzon says:

    But he is not actually apologising for what he said. He is just apologising for the people who supposedly ‘misinterpreted’ his comments.

    Why do none of those papers pick that up? Or is it me misunderstanding the situation?

  2. eros says:

    Dalli has a habit of speaking the first thing that comes to his mind, and eventually having to backtrack – and in the process digging himself into a bigger hole.

    We have seen it in his confrontation with Gonzi, his ‘4-year sentence’ moan and others. This latest gaffe could, however, be driven by seeing his personal business in Libya melting away.

    On the other hand it is very positive that the alternative government in Benghazi is taking shape, and organizing themselves for the final onslaught on Gaddafi’s tribe. Unconfirmed news this evening says that Gaddafi said he is prepared to resign on the condition that he, his family and their accumulated wealth, remain untouched. Such offer, if true, has apparantly been rejected.

    • John Dalli lacks self control and his obsession with undermining the prime minister had led to the inevitable. He has undermined himself. In going too far on the national stage, he has invariably found the support of the Labour Party, John Bundy and people like Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando and Jesmond Mugliett. But he doesn’t seem to understand that going too far in the international context will leave him hung out to dry. I don’t think he even understands that he is in the international scene now and not on some One TV stage trying to contradict the prime minister who said that Gaddafi’s time is up.

  3. Maria says:

    Ah, Johnny, Johnny – il-garra gejja u sejra fl-ahhar titfarrak.

  4. Maria says:

    I think that’s it’s only fair if you give Johhny and his brother a bit of advice which is “God protect me from my friends, I can take care of my enemies”. That should be enough to be understood.

    [Daphne – The only person Dalli needs protection from is himself. He is his worst enemy.]

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