"I finalised the directive on 25 February, which kept the snus ban and also proposed a ban on all smokeless tobacco."
So much for consulting EU citizens, who were overwhelmingly in favour of lifting the ban on snus. Dalli explains his reasoning, which naturally has nothing do with health and everything to do with politics.
"A court sentence [sic] already bans the sale of snus outside Sweden. Changing it would have been political suicide."
Political suicide? Strong words, but an interesting choice of words, since Patrik Hildingsson of Swedish Match recalls the attempt to solicit a bribe of €60 million!) as follows:
"The Maltese businessman expressed to us very clearly that he was speaking on behalf of Dalli. He had a manner and information that made us wary," Hildingsson said.
"He said it was, in principle, political suicide to lift the ban and therefore he wanted money for it, simply put, since the career (of the EU commissioner) would be over afterwards."
Sounds like the two men from Malta were, at the very least, of the same mind and using the same language.