Prisoner of Zenda update: the Libya soap merchant's brother says Gaddafi should make his own decisions

Published: March 4, 2011 at 11:53am

Two friends of the Gaddafi regime: Labour's international secretary AST and EU Commissioner Dalli, at an event organised by the Labour Party to celebrate 40 years of coooperation between the MLP and Libya.

Is John Dalli talking about Muammar Gaddafi or is he talking about himself, and projecting (see story below)?

I don’t think John Dalli should make his own decisions on this one. I think he should step down. Kif qal sewwa Tony Zarb, issa daqshekk.

He’s an EU Commissioner who has extensive business interests in Libya, where it is impossible to have extensive business interests unless you are involved with the inner circle of the Gaddafi regime, and here he is defending Gaddafi and suggesting that deaths and injuries were faked by protestors for the television cameras.

Leave now, John Dalli, and head for Tripoli to look after your business interests. They need you and Malta can do without your crap.

‘Gaddafi should make his own decisions’, John Dalli on whether dictator should resign
By Nestor Laiviera

European Commissioner John Dalli has gone on record saying Libyan dictator Col. Muammar Gaddafi should “make his own decisions” when asked whether he should resign in the face of the uprising against his regime.

Dalli, a former minister, has had extensive business consultancies in the country. He told a business breakfast organised by the Malta Business Bureau this morning that he “didn’t think [he] had the right, or anyone else, to make a statement on whether he should step down.”

Answering questions on whether he feels that Gaddafi should resign, Dalli struck an apologetic tone: “I think Gaddafi should make his own decisions. He has the assessment of the people, as he has said on TV… I think Gaddafi has made the first attempt towards conciliation – but now he is feeling himself on uneasy ground and is looking for a way out.”

The Commissioner described the conflict in Libya as a civil war, in which death was sowing the seeds for more strife and belligerence in the future. He said he expected a third wave of protest across the Middle East and Africa. “What will happen at the end of these waves I don’t know – and I don’t think anyone has any idea.”

He said the EU should emphasise the establishment of institutions that ensure governability inside Arab political structures. “From these institutions, everything will flow – human rights, democracy, free elections.”

He also shed doubts on the information being relayed from inside Libya by the satellite news networks and social media in the hands of protestors and opponents of the Gaddafi regime

“The US admitted that they have lost the race for information in Libya – this, and the way information is getting out, is problematic,” Dalli said.

He even claimed the media reportage on the issue was not completely reliable. Asked if he felt the media reports are ‘staged’ by foreigners, Dalli replied: “sometimes doubt creeps into one’s head when seeing people speaking perfect English and hoisted up by a group of people made to look like a crowd. I wonder if they might be shots ‘created’ for journalists.”

29 Comments Comment

  1. Ragunament bazwi - the John Dalli edition says:

    Yes, and the EU health commission could do with a full time commissioner.

  2. maryanne says:

    I know that the prime minister has no authority over John Dalli but he should tell him what an embarrassment he is to the country. Please also read the article by Alexander Borg Olivier in The Times to see the difference.

    [Daphne – The difference, and believe me I feel pained and awkward saying it, is that Alexander Borg Olivier is not a peasant and John Dalli remains one despite the trappings. That’s why his behaviour is so awful and out of order. Parse his remarks to the press this morning: a curious mixture of Hal Qormi boy racism and the belief that what is good for Europeans is not necessarily good for Libyans because they are ‘different’. And he expresses surprise on video that the Libyan protestors carry slogans written in English, concluding that they must have been written by somebody from outside. This when he himself can barely speak the language and said ‘vindication’ when he meant ‘vengeance’, because vindication sounds like the Maltese vendikazzjoni and he thinks in Maltese and translates mentally into English before speaking.]

    • Grezz says:

      Has not John Dalli got close business ties with Libyans – ahem – through his daughter? How does he feel insulting them that way. Shame on him.

  3. red nose says:

    How very sad! I always thought that (before the PN leadership race) John Dalli was a gentleman. How sad – he has now stooped to lows below redemption.

    • George Mifsud says:

      Red nose,

      From past posts I am under the impression that you are a senior citizen. If this is fact then I would be even more amazed at your comment. Without being patronising I invite you to rethink your assesment of Commissioner Dalli.

      Before the leadership race you evaluated Dalli on his merits as an exchequer and as a ‘nazzjonalist jirsisti’.

      We all know what happened when his leadership ambitions did not materialise. There are many facets to this guy – PN minister, economist, accountant, businessman, father etc.

      When he lost out and was appointed EU Commissioner he obtained yet another Dalli-shaping facet.

      To vent his ‘vindication’ he started to court and mix with the opposition – literally.

      Also, do not forget the kind of baggage the guy has been carrying for years. Top all this with a parochial mentality and voila – he stoops to below redemption.

      I think that he needs to take serious stock of his own situation and act accordingly. God knows he is sly enough to do it.

  4. xalataboy says:

    I find the claims that some scenes might be staged (acted out) as worrying, dangerous and out-of-touch with reality.

    To all those PN councillors who elected Lawrence Gonzi as PN leader seven years ago – THANKS!

    • ciccio2011 says:

      Even if any scenes had been staged, in this case, the end justifies the means. In his position of EU Commissioner, John Dalli should either shut up and let those in charge to speak, or else, if he is allowed to speak on the subject, he should express the EU ideals of people’s freedoms and rights.

      There is no need to object to what the people are doing or saying.

      And if he has any conflict of interest, he should declare it and not discuss the subject.

    • Sharone mhux Sharon says:

      And about those who supported Dalli to the hilt, watch them because they’re still hovering around as dangerous as ever, and ready to pounce.

      • Pacikk says:

        Are you sure about that? I thought that most of them could be thought of as opportunists at best.

  5. C Falzon says:

    Something Malta Today missed is that John Dalli sees Gaddafi’s acceptance of Chavez’s mediation offer as something positive. Seems to me like Hitler asking Mussolini to mediate with Poland.

  6. David Buttigieg says:

    “Dalli replied: “sometimes doubt creeps into one’s head when seeing people speaking perfect English and hoisted up by a group of people made to look like a crowd.”

    I wonder what Dalli considers to be “perfect English”?

    I have no doubt that many Libyans have a better command of the language then he does, at least judging by the few times I heard him using it.

  7. Oliver Magro says:

    Daphne, I admit I’ve not been following the blog religiously as I normally do (trying to enjoy my holiday) but there’s something I can’t quite put my head around yet.

    Are these local politicians claiming that Malta (and the rest of the world) should not intervene because Libya has descended into civil war (i.e. it isn’t a simple revolt)?

    At which point did the revolt against Gaddafi actually become a civil war and does this, in itself, absolve the international community from acting against Gaddafi – an erga omnes obligation under international law to protect fundamental rights?

    [Daphne – John Dalli is not a local politician. He is a European Commissioner, and he fails to remember that he speaks as one. All we need now is an international headline: EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER CLAIMS PROTESTOR DEATHS MAY BE FAKED. It is clearly not a civil war, but an attempt to depose a tyrant. Civil war is what might happen in the risky aftermath of his removal, if there is a vacuum. And the international community is obliged to intervene – not for the sake of the people in Libya, as otherwise everyone would be intervening everywhere – but for its own sake. Libya under Gaddafi has long been a destabilising influence and now it has passed the point of no return.]

    • Oliver Magro says:

      Good point, though I wasn’t referring to Dalli alone.

      Whenever someone states that this has turned into a civil war I cringe – it clearly isn’t.

  8. john lanzon says:

    John Dalli may be right in having doubts about the media reportage. Some facts are hard to understand. For example: how one can explain the regular entry of foreign cruise liners and even foreign warships at Sirte Harbour,the stronghold of Gaddhafi and not a single shot is fired in protest. This also applies to Tripoli airport and other airfields
    where passenger airlines and even military aircrafts land in Libya, apparantly without any resistance.
    Whatever the case foreign militatary intervention in Libya would prove disastrous as happened and still is happening in Afganistan and Iraq

    [Daphne – There are no foreign warships at Sirte, unless you’re thinking of this . Cruise liners and merchants ships and the like are permitted entry because they are commercial vessels, just like the Maltese catamarans. You will have noted that a Lynx helicopter from the Dutch navy was seized by Gaddafi’s forces along with its crew of three, who are now being held prisoner. Passenger planes land without a shot being fired because they can land only with clearance from Tripoli air traffic control. You do not get clearance and then get shot at. Afghanistan and Iraq are nothing like Libya in terms of political situation and above all, terrain.]


    Maybe he believes Saif Al Islam.

    The only time I’ve caught out the international media in a lie is when they say that this man speaks fluent English.

    His English is almost as bad as John Dalli’s.

  10. El Topo says:

    Some people age gracefully, others start making fools of themselves.

  11. ciccio2011 says:

    Surely Nestor Laiviera ‘misinterpreted’ the Commissioner’s words.

  12. .Angus Black says:

    John Dalli is absolutely right. It’s the rest of the world which is wrong.

    Are Dalli’s public speeches/opinions not monitored by his bosses at the EU ?

    Is Dalli indirectly criticising his employers for issuing sanctions and freezing Gaddafi’s assets?

    Is this excuse for an EU Commissioner unaccountable for his unconventional comments?

    Why was he invited by the Malta Business Bureau? Could they not have accomplished the same and at lesser expense by distributing free copies of L-Orizzont to their members?

    John, please go and play with your GMOs.

  13. Interested Bystander says:

    Christ, I never met Dalli or seen him in flesh but I imagine him in a tight fitting tracksuit with a piss stain at the crotch. Vile.

  14. TROY says:

    John Dalli is Malta’s Benedict Arnold.

  15. Joseph A Borg says:

    I shudder to think he could have been prime minister in this situation.

  16. Anthony says:

    I do not usually associate John Dalli with hysterical outbursts.

    Lately, though, I have been having second thoughts.

    After his prison sentence, he seems to have developed PTSD.

    I feel we human beings should propose a daily quota of fellowcountrymen that this lunatic in Tripoli is allowed to murder.

    This is just a meek suggestion and not very much by way of interference.

    I am sure John Dalli will agree.

    • .Angus Black says:

      “I do not usually associate John Dalli with hysterical outbursts”.

      He may have shared a cup of coffee with Gaddafi.

  17. Grezz says:

    John Dalli must be a closet Labourite.

  18. La Redoute says:

    He clearly is not fit for the job.

    A Dalli spokesman told this website that he had not seen the Friday morning quotes, but that anything Mr Dalli might have told local press in Malta is not necessarily his official view as an EU commissioner.

  19. P Shaw says:

    The caption below your picture might be misleading – In 2009 the MLP celebrated the 40th anniversary of their cooperation with Gaddafi (after the coup d’etat) rather than with Libya – in order to distinguish between the state and its people versus the regime.

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