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Letters to the Editor

Lettori Win Again But Fear Houdini Tactics

The information necessary to disprove the claims in David Petrie’s
(Jan/Feb 2002) response to Domenico Pacitti’s “Lettori Win
Again But Fear Italian Houdini Tactics” (Nov/Dec 2001) is
all in the public domain.

First, according to Mr. Petrie, there is no evidence that the Irish government successfully lobbied the European Commission to open infringement proceedings. I would point out that prior to Ireland’s assumption of the Presidency of the European Union, the European Commission’s official and documented position on the lettori was that “direct implementation of Community law by national (i.e. Italian) courts should be more productive […] than legal action taken by the Commission.” The Commission opened proceedings during Ireland’s term as President, a period in which the Member State in tenure shapes and directs Union policy. Commission correspondence with parliamentarians I have personally lobbied clearly points to the conclusion that representations by the Irish Government explain the Commission’s sudden change of heart.

Secondly, Mr. Petrie sued the European Commission, not in the Court of Justice as he claims, but in the Court of First Instance (CFI), where he lost his case on Dec 11, 2001 and was ordered to pay the Commission’s

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