The European Commission has decided to send a delegation to Malta for talks with the Maltese government on hunting. Here is what the first ideas of the Commission’s position were (as if we did not know already):
“We had already told the Maltese government it cannot permit spring hunting any longer as this is not justified even when applying the derogation (under the Birds Directive). According to data supplied by the government, autumn hunting provides a sufficient alternative to spring. We will use our meeting to try, one last time, to persuade the government to change its position,” the sources said.
Of course all highlighting is mine. i love the “One last time”. And then there was Stavros Dimas – Environment Commissioner – who did not mince his words when discussing this matter:
“He said his officials will ask the Maltese authorities for explanations over their recent decision to allow spring hunting. They will also make it very clear that Malta must comply with EU law as soon as possible. He said that if the Maltese authorities stick to their guns [sic], the Commission will have no alternative but to take this case to the European Court of Justice.”
Explanations? Good Lord Stavros have you seen the hunters in Valletta? They mean business man! They’ve got guns and beat up people. It’s not like we’re in Greece or something – and used to regular demonstrations by youths for weeks…
In a sneak preview of the Government reaction to the Commission delegation’s visit, J’accuse managed to obtain an unofficial concise summary of the very strongly argued case being built by Government. It goes something like this:
Photo: The Government delegation (L to R, Green Pulliceen, Austin Giallo, Le Rouge Gonzi and an unidentified Purple Minister) prepare to meet the EU delegation for talks on hunting. (Sarcapress)