The Times Higher Education published, 16-22 June, ‘Pioneers of the new Europe’ fight the Italian closed shop , while UK Europe Minister, David Lidington heads for Rome this week – See Mark Lazarowicz’s question in the House of Commons:
HANSARD 14 June 2011
T3.  Mark Lazarowicz (Edinburgh North and Leith) (Lab/Co-op): The Secretary of State will be aware of the case of my constituent, David Petrie, who is one of a number of British citizens who, for more than 20 years, have been trying to secure equal pay under their European rights in Italy. I understand that the Minister for Europe will meet his Italian counterparts in a few days’ time. Will he take up this case again and try to bring the sorry saga to a conclusion?
The Minister for Europe (Mr David Lidington): Yes, I intend to visit Italy in the next week and this is certainly one of the items that will be on the agenda for discussion.
I am very grateful to Mr Lazarowicz who issued the following statement:
‘It is an outrage that in spite of numerous court rulings, the Italian authorities have not yet complied. I know that both the current and previous UK governments have been pursuing the issue with the Italian government, and they must continue to do so until there is a satisfactory outcome’.
At our meeting in London on 28 October 2010, Mr Lidington assured us the government was taking our case very seriously. But since then, the Italian government has gone much further down the road than simply flouting the treaties. The “Gelmini” reform legislates against ECJ judgments (it re-interprets their rulings) and against the European Treaties (it extinguishes the basic right of a specific group of foreign workers to have their complaint adjudicated in a court of law).
This is certainly not a matter merely affecting Italy – it calls into question the whole European Project.
Fearful that lettori may still yet enforce their rights, as some have, even after over 25 years in courts (shouldn’t they have given up or died?) – the Gelmini reform has simply taken their treaty rights away.
The Romans gave full citizens rights to anyone who served the empire for ten years. Can our EU leaders force Italy to comply – or should we be calling for them to bring back the Romans?