On 25 September we received a letter from Mr Armindo Silva, Director, EUROPEAN COMMISSION DG Employment, Social Affairs and inclusion Employment and Social Legislation, Social Dialogue which concludes: “All in all, we have not found evidence that would allow us to propose that the Commission starts infringement proceedings against Italy under Article 258 TFUE. Therefore we intend to close the file…” the letter offers us 4 weeks to contest that conclusion.
Contest it we will. For a report see The Italian Insider, 30 September … Commission Lettori stand “outrages” MEP which also carries this comment by my colleague, UK citizen, John Young:
“It seems to me the Commission is striking a self-inflicted blow. Yes, the direct impact will be felt by the victims of decades of anti-European discrimination by Italy, which the Commission now openly condones. But by acting so blatantly as lackeys for the governments of Member States, directly against their citizens’ interests, the eurocrats are merely confirming the growing public perception of the European Union as a costly sham. Don’t they know the European elections are looming? Or is it just they don’t care? Maybe they get on with Italy’s politicians so well because they themselves think the same way – they have their fat salaries and their privileges, and to hell with “ordinary people”! But those ordinary people can still vote and increasingly, as in the UK, they are voting for parties that are seriously planning to put an end to the EU as we know it. In the light of recent results around Europe – in Austria last weekend, for example – Mr. Silva looks like a blindfolded Schettino, blithely steering the Costa Europa onto the rocks… ”
John Young teaches at Milan State University – one of the universities cited in the European Court of Justice as guilty of discrimination based on nationality in 2001 and 2006.
Twice, the value of John Young’s work has been subjected to independent evaluation by accountants appointed by an Italian magistrate and his pay level was assessed to be that of associate professor. The university of Milan contested and appealed this evaluation. The appeal courts upheld the decisions of the lower courts. That should have been that.
I was with John in the European Court of Justice in front of the Grand Chamber of judges on the morning of 15 November 2005 and we had to listen to the Italian state advocate asserting that the discrimination complained of in Milan and elsewhere had been brought to an end.
First employed in 1985, John Young’s take home pay last month was 1,180. An Italian colleague, first employed in 1985, on the same parameter the Italian courts established for John Young takes home 2,266. Do the math as they say in America.
The Italian colleague has a “perk” which John Young does not enjoy … her salary arrives each month year after year without her every having to go to court.