Italy pays 30 per cent of the war against Libya

Even though Italy, omd colonizer of Libya, entered the war providing only ‘limited military and logistical support’, it now leads 30 per cent of the war against Libya, on par with France and Great Britain. According to Italy’s Interior Ministry, the operation has already cost 1 billion Euros (US$ 1.3 billion).

Italy will thus be the next NATO-member that needs money. And the Italian taxpayer will pay it back by extra-high taxes and by privatisations. The Italian social network (healthcare, social welfare,) is slowly destroyed and the Italian State has already a big problem with the refugees coming from Africa.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said now that he had ‘opposed the decision by western powers led by France and Britain to go to war in Libya’ and that ‘he had been forced’. He knows that he and his government are responsible for the economical and financial crisis in Italy.

Photo: Libya in 1940 – Green: Territory annexed into Italy – Light green: Libyan Sahara Territory – Dark gray: Other Italian possessions and occupied territory – Darkest gray: Kingdom of Italy


6 thoughts on “Italy pays 30 per cent of the war against Libya

  1. kruitvat Post author


    For closely tied Italy, Libyan war can’t end soon enough

    ROME— Globe and Mail Blog
    Monday, March 21, 2011

    Silvio Berlusconi’s embracement of Libya, a key diplomatic and economic strategy, is burning

    What do Italian business giants Fiat, Finmeccanica and UniCredit all have in common? They are among Libya’s beloved Italian investments, and are just part of the billons of dollars in Libyan loot circulating through the Italian economy. The love is mutual — Italy has fortunes invested in Libya.

    No European country has closer ties to Libya than Italy. Libya was an Italian colony from 1911 until Italy’s capitulation to the Allies in the Second World War. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi have signed trade, investment and “Friendship” treaties. Eni, Italy’s biggest oil company, and the most successful European oil player in North Africa, is the biggest foreign investor in Libya.

    The tight economic links between the two countries explains why Mr. Berlusconi was slow to take a strong position on Col. Gadhafi’s assault on the rebel forces earlier this year, and why he seemed happy to hand the coalition air raid file to France, Britain and the United States. While Italian Tornado fighter-bombers have joined the assault on Libya, targeting Libyan radar installations on Sunday night, you get the sense that Italy dreads this mission, for fear that it is bombing its own economic interests into ground.

    Italy’s wish-washy response on the Libya file in the weeks ahead of the launch of the air raids (which include at least six Canadian CF-18 fighter-bombers) was shocking to some observers, given how much it has at stake in Libya. In a note published last weak, James Walston, professor of international relations at the American University of Rome, said that Italy’s “silence is not only unbecoming, it is against Italy’s own interests and a renunciation of responsibility. No one expects Italy to take unilateral action, but to have a position like the French, the British and the Germans is not too much to ask. Or at least to debate the issue.”

    There is no doubt that the Libyan war will hurt Italian interests in Libya, and Libyan interests in Italy. In recent years, Libyan investments in brand-name Italian companies have become hugely controversial. In 2010, embarrassment over Libya’s rising stake in UniCredit, one of Italy’s leading banks, was at least partly responsible for the resignation of Alessandro Profumo, who was UniCredit’s CEO. Libya’s stake in UniCredit, held by the Libyan Investment Authority and Libya’s central bank, is about 7.5 per cent.

    Libya holds stakes in other sensitive Italian investments, including Finmeccanica, one of Europe’s largest defence and aerospace companies. The Libyan Investment Authority owns a 2-per-cent stake in Finmeccanica, which is a big player in British and American defence markets. Finmeccanica owns AugustaWestland, the company that builds the Lynx helicopters for Britain. In the United States, its holdings include defence contractor DRS Technologies, whose products range from thermal imaging devices to aircraft loaders.

    Libya also owns a stake in Fiat, though it is thought to be 2 per cent or less. Still, its an investment that Fiat’s Italian-Canadian CEO, Sergio Marchionne, would no doubt rather do without.

    Italy’s investments in Libya have already suffered. Eni has stopped pumping oil in Libya, though it continues to supply natural gas to power stations around Tripoli, the Libyan capital and scene of the destruction on Sunday of one of Col. Gadhafi’s bunkers. The potential destruction of Eni’s oil infrastructure in Libya is weighing on its share price. In the last month, its shares have lost about 4 per cent even as oil prices have surged.

    The Libya war has hurt more than Eni. Italy typically imports as much as 25 per cent of its oil, and 10 per cent of its natural gas, from Libya. Libyan energy exports have dropped to almost zero, meaning Italy will have to scour the planet to replace them.

    Impegilo, Italy’s biggest construction company, is also worried about its Libyan future. Impregilo has extensive business ties to Libyan, in good part thanks to Mr. Berlusconi’s close relationship to Col. Gadhafi, and had high hopes of building a Libyan highway project valued at as much as €5-billion. Its shares have also suffered since the Libyan civil war began.

    For Italian investments in Libya, the shorter the Libyan war, the better. Since Italy is a member of the anti-Gadhafi forces, Italian companies will no doubt be considered for reconstruction projects. If the war drags on for months or longer, as it could, all bets are off. Col. Gadhafi, should he survive, would no doubt retaliate by making it impossible for Italian companies to operate on Libyan soil.

    As for Libyan investments in Italy, it appears they will eliminated or forfeited. Italy’s relationship with Libya will never be the same. One of Mr. Berlusconi’s key diplomatic and economic strategies — the embracement of Libya — is burning.

  2. kruitvat Post author

    Italian friendship…
    The Italy-Libya Treaty on Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation

    Interview with Natalino Ronzitti
    Professor, International Law (LUISS Guido Carli University, Rome); Scientific Advisor, IAI (Istituto Affari Internazionali, Rome)

    On 2nd March, 2009 the Treaty on Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation between Italy and Libya initially signed by PM Berlusconi and Col. Gheddafi on August 30th, 2008 was finally enforced. In June, the Libyan leader was invited for his first official state visit to Italy.

    1. The Treaty on Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation is supposed to usher in a new era in bilateral relations. How significant is it for Italy and Libya respectively?

    A. The Treaty paves the way for increasing and strengthening co-operation between the two countries, which never ended even at the height of major political tensions or during the period in which Libya was subjected to UN sanctions due to suspicions that it was supporting international terrorism. The Treaty should boost economic and trade relations between the two nations.

    2. What are the strongest/weakest elements in the Treaty?

    A. Chapter III, devoted to the new bilateral partnership, is the most promising part of the Treaty. It furthers co-operation in several fields, mainly energy, economy and industry. It also includes cultural co-operation. Article 19 of the Treaty is of outmost importance, since it figures out collaboration in the fight against terrorism, organized crime and illegal immigration. The first Chapter of the Treaty embodies lofty principles which are mainly a restatement of those included in the United Nations Charter. The major problem is here represented by the principle of ‘non-interference’ in domestic affairs and the use made of US bases in Italy. Since the Treaty forbids any use of territory for hostile purposes, how far could the transit of US warships leaving from Italian ports and sailing through the Gulf of Sidra be considered a hostile use of the Italian territory? Libya claims historic jurisdiction over the Gulf of Sidra; claim which is not recognized by the US and other Western countries, Italy included. Chapter II is devoted to the final settlement of colonial claims and to financial compensation. Italy promised Libya 5 billion US dollars over a period of 20 years. It is a huge amount of money, that should be employed for infrastructural projects yet to be identified. Since all the works will be assigned to Italian companies, it is a kind of aid to Italian corporations. However, 20 years is a long time and every single project will have to be identified by a Mixed Commission. A point of contention might be represented by the debt incurred by Libya, which still has to pay Italian companies for works completed over the past years. The amount of such debt has not been specified in the Treaty, and a final settlement is supposed to be reached by means of an exchange of letters. A time frame has also not been fixed.

    3. Both the Treaty and col. Gheddafi’s recent visit to Italy triggered wide economic
    expectations; what are, on the other hand, their political relevance?

    A. Collaboration with ENI dates back to Libyan independence and was not discontinued when Gheddafi took power. Libya invested in Fiat in the ‘70s and such policy has continued with a renovated interest for Fiat and also for the Italian banking system, e.g. Unicredit. The Libyan sovereign fund is prepared to increase its investments. If all the expectations are to be met, the Treaty will constitute an example of how relations between a wealthy, former colony and its European mother State can develop. The settlement of all colonial claims and the formal apologies which Italy extended to Libya might constitute an example for other European powers. I however doubt that France or UK are ready to follow the Italian lead. In spite of Gheddafi’s declared intention to privilege Italian companies, Libya’s real expectation is that American companies will flock back, attracted by the promise of State companies’ privatization.

    4. The Italian government’s decision to return to Libya boatloads of immigrants caught in international waters in May (2009) attracted widespread criticism from international human rights organisations. What does the Treaty say on this matter, and in what relation is it with previous bilateral agreements and current EU policies?

    A. As previously mentioned, the Treaty includes a specific provision on the fight against illegal immigration. Libya enters the obligation to stop illegal immigration at its territorial borders by means of an electronic detection system and of other technologies to be provided by Italy. 50% of the costs will be covered by Italy; the other half should be covered by funds that the two Mediterranean countries will request from the European Union. It is therefore important for the EU to be involved in the process of containment of illegal immigration, and also to favour the economic conditions apt at preventing this phenomenon. This last objective should however be part of a long-term policy, while the containment of illegal immigration needs to be addressed immediately. It should not, however, be carried out at the expenses of a genuine asylum policy. For instance, the EU should insist for the ratification on the part of Libya of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, even though a refugee policy is envisaged within the African Union. The other obligation entered into by Libya relates to its maritime borders, since the Sidra coastline is where the immigrants’ flow through the Mediterranean originates. The Treaty envisages the implementation of the Agreement entered into in 2000 as well the implementation of two Protocols concluded in 2007, and which provide for patrols of the Libyan coast by boats supplied by Italy. It should also be remembered that Italy and Libya are both parties to the UN Protocol on the fight against organized crime and illegal immigration by land, sea and air, which was also signed in 2000.

    5. The Treaty envisages defence and military cooperation: how significant is this, and in what way can Libya’s role be deemed crucial in promoting ‘peace, stability and security’ in the Mediterranean?

    A. Defence and military cooperation between the two countries has already been set in motion. Libya is interested in buying helicopters and in modernizing its air fleet which was made completely obsolete by the long embargo. Italian company Finmeccanica won the order to build a number of helicopters. Cooperation should be increased with the acquisition by Libya of a number of Finmeccanica shares. This is a very delicate problem since the company enjoys solid ties with the United States in the realm of defence and it should therefore be seen whether the Americans will approve a cooperation which might disclose sensitive equipment and technology. As for the Libyan role in promoting peace, stability and security in the Mediterranean, a first step was when Libya renounced WMD, to continue with normalization of its relations with the United States and the final settlement of the Lockerbie affair, and the promise not to directly or indirectly support terrorism, as set out in a letter addressed to the UN Security Council in 2003. Libya is part of the ‘5+5’ consultation group which includes France, Italy, Malta Portugal and Spain on the Northern side, and Algeria, Libya Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia on the Southern side. The Group may be strengthened through concrete initiatives, for instance in connection with soft security, regulation of fisheries and the delimitation of sea areas. Libya’s claim over the waters of the Gulf of Sidra, opposed to by the European Union, remains a source of contention.

    6. How far will Libya’s progressive economic liberalisation and diplomatic thaw likely influence the country’s political establishment?

    A. The main problem with future relations with Libya resides in its political system. The Rais is surrounded by able economic relations’ advisers. A major role has been played by the Libyan Ambassador to Italy. However, the future of a wealthy yet scarcely populated country cannot be entrusted to a few personalities, however capable they are. It is not clear whether Tripoli has become an arena for political reforms. Gheddafi’s views on democracy and on popular representation which were highlighted during his visit to Italy do not seem to head in that direction. Gheddafi is considered a bastion against Muslim radicalism and al Qaida, but this is not enough for the West to consider Libya a stable and trustworthy country.

    7. In your opinion, how did the Italian government handle col. Gheddafi’s first official visit to Italy?

    A. The visit to Italy did not go as smoothly as the Italian government expected. This was due to the erratic behaviour of the Colonel, who often disregarded protocol and released embarrassing statements, for instance when he drew a comparison between the US attack on Tripoli in 1986 and the one on the Twin Towers in 2001. A comparison which provoked only a weak reaction on the part of the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, who specified that the Italian Government does not necessarily have to agree with the Colonel’s strong words. Business is business! Gheddafi is notoriously an unpredictable leader not always in keeping with the diplomatic protocol. In another occasion, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Gianfranco Fini was forced to cancel a meeting after a two-hours wait, when the Colonel did not show up. Given the character of the personage, one might say that the Italian government dealt successfully with Gheddafi’s first visit to Italy.

    This interview was realised by Chiara Sulmoni

    Copyright © 2003-2009 CERMAM. All Rights Reserved

  3. kruitvat Post author

    UN gave NATO a mandate to bomb and to destroy Libya….
    Libya: Open Letter to Russian and Chinese embassy
    Jan Boeykens to,, – 1 september 2011
    Libya: where are Russia and China now ?
    NATO aircraft are still conducting massive missile and bomb strikes on the city of Sirte, home town of Muammar Gaddafi, not allowing anyone to escape. The city perimeter is surrounded by so called rebel check points, behind which there are special forces units from Britain, France, Qatar and United Arab Emirates. “Protect civilians” UN and NATO said…

    UN gave NATO a mandate to bomb and to destroy Libya…. Sarkozy: NATO To Continue To Bomb Libya Into Total Submission, Rubble

    UN gave NATO a mandate to bomb and to destroy Libya….
    ‘France: 35% of Libyan oil – rebels accepted in exchange for their unconditional support against the regime of Gaddafi.’

    UN is an instrument of US and its allies…

  4. kruitvat Post author

    Libya’s Great Man-Made River Project And NATO War Crimes

    Canada: participating to killing of arabian people…
    Italy: Canadian Prime Minister Meets Troops, Hails War Against Libya

    The drones (unmanned aircraft) used by NATO for bombing Afghanistani, Pakistani and Libyan civilians are designed by Israel. The Israelis are denied entry into Afghanistan, but nevertheless, the Israeli dronesprovide ‘security’ for the coalition in Afghanistan. Israeli drones are used by Canada, France, Australia and Germany in Afghanistan. Today, Israeli specialists are on the air base at Ein Shemer for training the flight of “Herons” repainted in the colors of Germany. Most of Israeli military products are standard NATO-compatible.

  5. kruitvat Post author

    Americans want a Global war… Romania: U.S. To Aim Interceptor Missiles At Russia, Iran, Syria

    People are fighting back… Deadliest Month To Date Debunks U.S. Claim Of Afghan War Deescalation

    UN gave NATO a mandate to bomb and to destroy Libya…. What about India within the UN ?
    NATO Demands India Dump Non-Alignment, Join Global Military Nexus
    NATO seeks India’s cooperation to tackle terror, piracy – Hindustan Times
    US-led NATO has asked India to shed its non-aligned policy and called for a partnership with it to tackle common security challenges such as terror threats, cyber security and piracy.

    Global War of NATO and UN…. Virginia Headquarters: NATO Consolidates Pan-European, Global Structures

    UN gave NATO a mandate to bomb and to destroy Libya. The plan is to recolonize Africa…
    Italy: U.S. Army Africa, NATO Allies Project More Operations In Africa

    Africa Partnership Station: U.S. Consolidates Bilateral Military Ties With Mozambique


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