W hen Sweden entered the European Union in 1995, one of the sine qua non conditions was to get derogation from the ban, valid all over Europe, on snus tobacco. When the services of Commissioner John Dalli were working on the Tobacco Products Directive, the Commissioner was approached by Swedish interests to lift the ban on snus tobacco but the Commissioner stubbornly refused.
From the correspondence published in New Europe today, the Director General of the Department of John Dalli (SANCO), the Secretary General of the Commission and the Director General of the Legal Service appear to have had a meeting, where the Commission agreed to modify the Tobacco Directive to the lift the ban on snus, 5 weeks before the dismissal of the Commissioner and the related correspondence was disclosed to selected recipients but not to the Commissioner (although fully in charge), nor to his Cabinet.
Last Thursday, New Europe has sent the correspondence in question to the Secretary General and asked (a) to confirm the authenticity of the message, and, (b) to release the attachments mentioned in the correspondence.
Next morning, the Berlaymont acknowledged receipt of the request, informed New Europe that would reply concerning the documents request within 15 days, but kept silent with regards to the authenticity of the document.
The beauty of the exercise is that if John Dalli, on 16 October, 2012 would have surrendered and had signed the resignation that Jose Barroso ordered, nothing would have happened afterwards as the Commission would have lifted the snus ban, to the total satisfaction of the Swedish friends, and the innocent John Dalli would have disappeared, humiliated in Malta. His refusal to walk away was the “black swan.” which turned the course of events upside down.