Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire) (Con): I feel compelled once again to raise the matter of foreign lecturers working in Italian universities, known collectively as lettori, who have been discriminated against for
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I feel compelled once again to raise the matter of foreign lecturers working in Italian universities, known collectively as lettori, who have been discriminated against for
decades on the basis of nationality. My right hon. Friend will know of this issue from his former role. He will also know that despite various assurances from the Italian Government that this issue will be resolved, nothing has happened. They promised to intervene in July but that did not materialise. May we have a statement from the Government on what further measures they can take to persuade the Italian Government to stop this practice of discrimination, which is in breach of all European treaties.
Mr Hague: My hon. Friend is absolutely right to continue to raise this issue. The Government have repeatedly raised their concerns. I did so as Foreign Secretary with Italian Ministers and with the Italian ambassador. Senior officials and Ministers continue to raise it. Our ambassador in Rome is seeking a further meeting with the Italian Education Minister and the head of the universities department to discuss the next steps. I know that my right hon. Friend the Minister for Europe will want to keep my hon. Friend up to date on this, as he has done in the past.