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Commissioner Dalli's house in Tripoli: nothing out of the ordinary!

(BRUSSELS2) The (Maltese) Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli, apparently still has a house in Libya (in Tripoli). And on the side of the European Commission, we find this completely normal. “It is not prohibited at this stage to own a house in Libya or elsewhere” said the commissioner’s spokesperson. But he does not want to say more. “I refer you to the declaration of interests. No I know, not the size of the house. I think the commissioner said what needed to be said.”

We will therefore know neither the size nor the value of this house, nor especially the date or conditions of acquisition of this house. The spokesperson also did not want to answer whether the commissioner still owned other assets (joint venture company in Libya). Let us specify that the UN resolution 1973 froze all assets or economic resources that could be made available to the Libyan authorities (§19). A priori the ownership of a house may be subject to a tax which must be paid to the Libyan authorities, even more so if it concerns assets in a mixed company. Etc…

By leaving these elements vague and refusing to answer basic questions, the Commission gives credence to the idea that everything is not as simple and normal as indicated. It's a shame for a commissioner who has already committed a political “blunder” against the Libyan leader (*).

Nb: the commissioner's declaration of interests is very succinct. She just mentions in the “properties” section “House in Tripoli, Libya” (download here).

(Update Wed.) Commissioner Dalli’s spokesperson sent me a short email which deserves publication: “ I would like to say that the tone of this “article” is really questionable. (…) A commissioner also has the right to a private life. A page on the Europa site provides access to all the commissioners' declarations of interest, and the different documents are similar there (this in response to the expression “brief” in the ps). (…) A spokesperson for the Commission is not a real estate agent who is supposed to explain to you the size of the house, the number of bathrooms and the orientation of the property in question. In short, in a nutshell, the “post” in question is grotesque. »

I will let readers form their own opinions. But, for my part, I do not find it entirely illegitimate to know the conditions of acquisition and the price of a house located in a country which is not known to offer a permanent vacation to the ordinary political leader. This therefore confirms that a frank and transparent explanation is necessary. MAM's (Michèle Alliot-Marie) trip was also private... originally!

(*) Read : Malta delays the process of additional sanctions against Libya

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

2 thoughts on “Commissioner Dalli's house in Tripoli: nothing out of the ordinary!"

  • William Belmont

    It's true, finally, you see evil everywhere! Tripoli is however an ideal vacation spot. As proof, this is where Henri Guaino chose to spend the last New Year. So many beautiful minds in this well-known seaside resort, it must be linked to the exceptional and so stimulating climate of intellectual freedom that reigned there before agitators sadly come to put an end to it all.

  • Jean Quatremer

    It is curious that some Commission spokespersons have a habit of speaking with contempt to journalists. It is true that we are less brilliant than them, that we earn three or four times less and that we have badly cut suits when we don't wear jeans, what a horror. That must explain Frédéric Vincent's tone.

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