Johnson urges Italy to act on lettori

Boris Johnson (right) with Paolo Gentiloni

ROME — British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has urged Italy to allocate compensation in the next Stability law budget for discriminated UK lecturers (lettori) working in Italian universities, la Repubblica newspaper reports.

 “Among the areas of interest for London is also the lettori of English in our universities, not always very well paid,” La Repubblica said in its report on talks between Johnson and Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni that took place in Florence on Thursday.

 “Johnson expressed the wish on the question that one could make some steps forward in the Stability law that will be discussed in Rome between now and the end of the year,” Repubblica said.

 British officials and the lectures union Allsi headed by David Petrie repeatedly have pressed Italy to end the discrimination against foreign lecturers in Italian universities who were downgraded to the status of language technicians and had their salaries slashed by as much as 50 percent under the Gemini law introduced by the Berlusconi government.