David Petrie and Victoria Primhak Ph.D present UK Minister for Europe Chris Bryant with a dossier, at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London:
“Foreign lecturers in Italian universities: the biggest case of mass discrimination based on nationality in the history of the European Union”.
HOW THE WEEKEND WENT: Friday 29 January 2010, we have printed and bound 55 press cuttings going back to April 1993 to give to Chris Bryant on Monday at 10.30. We are ready and I’m now looking forward to an easy weekend.
My google alert flags up somthing in the University of Padova or Padua as we Brits call it – better have a look. Bang goes the quiet weekend. Press releases are hard work.
Monday morning. We are shown into Chris Bryant’s office. He greets us with a loud “buon giorno” and laughs before sitting us down on a leather sofa. Positioning himself on our left, he spreads back the palms of his hands, looks us straight in the eye and says:
“Well, you don’t have to lobby me”.
Good stuff. I can keep my bag full of documents closed. His officials have clearly done their job.
Has he seen this morning’s Guardian, we inquire, we’ve brought you a copy? Read it over breakfast, he nods – and we’re straight into the politics of getting a state to honour and respect the fundamental principles it signed up to in The Treaty of Rome on 25 March 1957.
He’ll be raising the matter with the competent Italian ministries and writing an article for the Italian press. Our warm thanks to Mr Bryant and his officials whom we’ll be working closely with over the next few weeks.
Verona, 3 February 2010