September 28, 2010
Tajani must go. He works half a week, gives glib and disingenuous answers to questions, but somehow he is Vice President of the European Commission.
I’m sick of Antonio Tajani and his disrespectful, blasé attitude to his brief.
Today he turned up in the press room to launch the SME Finance Forum and spoke in typically vague terms about the importance of small businesses; they need finance and to be paid on time. All true; nothing new.
Then, a journalist (not me) asked an appropriately detailed question on why the Late Payments Directive applies only to SMEs and not to larger corporations who also suffer from delayed payments.
Good question but an easy one to take advantage of: Tajani could have taken the opportunity to say SMEs are being offered a helping hand because, in line with the Small Business Act, the EU wants to make a special effort to support; SMEs are engines of job creation etc.
Instead, Tajani offered only a dismissive retort about late payments having nothing to do with the SME Finance Forum (even though he muddied the issue by referring to it in the first place).
Then he told the journalist he should read the text of the directive. “My private office have it. I can send it to you if you need it,” the Vice-President said glibly, before departing with a smirk after taking just one question.
It was typically disrespectful and reinforced the view that (a) he doesn’t know his brief (b) he’s not interested (c) he is arrogant.
How he became Vice-President of the European Commission remains a mystery but must have more to do with politics than ability. His parliamentary hearing in January was lame by any standards, but particularly weak from someone who has spent years in the Commission and is (somehow) seen as a senior member of the College.
Tajani could easily have been rejected by the Parliament if he had been a newcomer; if MEPs hadn’t taken Jeleva’s scalp; and if he wasn’t aligned to the biggest group in the EP.
Now that he’s in office, the guy spends more time in Italy than Brussels.
It’s rarely mentioned publicly, but Tajani turns up for Commission meetings, puts in a couple of perfunctory performances at midweek launches and conferences if he must, and jets out at the earliest opportunity. He’s a part-time Commissioner.
The Industry & Entrepreneurship post might not be the biggest brief in Brussels, but it is very important at a time when businesses are struggling and unemployment is rising.
We deserve better than this.Author : Gary Finnegan