Chris Bryant UK Minister for Europe meets British lecturers from Italy

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

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2 Responses to Chris Bryant UK Minister for Europe meets British lecturers from Italy

  1. Ian James Gavin says:

    As we all know to our cost, Italy has never been interested in embracing the European spirit, except when Europe can be exploited for Italy’s gain.
    I was glad to read that Mr. Bryant was well informed about the “lettori saga”. I just hope that he’s not swayed by shiny happy people on a mission who tell him that the Italian government “will look into the matter” and the courts are doing their job to protect us.
    Take it from me Mr.Bryant. They don’t and they won’t ………unless of course the British government hits them hard in some way that affects Italian interests.
    I’ve been in litigation for nearly 20 years and I’m no nearer getting justice now than when I started, due to a combination of high level skulduggery and courtroom farces. Please do something to stop these people taking the mickey..
    And by the way. It’s not a question of left or right. Neither side has ever defended our rights. They’re too afraid of upsetting the powerful “anti-lettore” power lobby within the universities- the “barons”- they’re the people with the real power.

  2. lambsbreath says:

    It was interesting to read your comment the other day about the Bologna process – it reminded me of another Euro project, the Lisbon agenda – agreed a decade ago with the aim of making Europe “the most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010”. Anybody familiar with the practices of Italian universities could have told them how unrealistic that was, but it’s not just their foreign teachers who have lost out. The failure of the EU’s drive towards a “competitive” and “knowledge-based” economy – in which the univesities should have played a key role – has made all Europeans poorer and added, poignantly, to the EU’s sense of unfulfilled potential.

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