President Buzek, the frozen assets of Libya's Gaddafi, and development aid: a novel idea - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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President Buzek, the frozen assets of Libya's Gaddafi, and development aid: a novel idea

Friday, 11 March 2011
Jerzy Buzek at the European Council on 4th February 2011 (Photo: Flickr/European Council)At the end of another busy week in the European Union when amongst other things the EU agreed to extend its economic sanctions against Libya, the President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, has today called for the frozen assets of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and some members of his family to be unfrozen and channelled into development aid projects to help the Libyan people.

His suggestion, reported on the Dow Jones newswire, was made in a speech given this afternoon at the Extraordinary meeting of the European Council where the EU heads of state have assembled to discuss the EU's response to the developing situation in Libya.

Mr Buzek, who has been a rather outspoken critic of Gaddafi's recently via Twitter, is reported to have said: "we should not only freeze Gaddafi assets, but we should give them back to the Libyan people through some kind of development aid. These assets represent a substantial amount of money - tens of billions of Euros".

That fund, he continued to say, could be a starting point for reconstruction work in the country, and "we [EU] could match it with additional aid, as well as loans and guarantees".

While an admirable and praiseworthy idea, I wonder what the EU's Commissioner for Development Aid, the other EU heads of state, and of course Mr Gaddafi himself would say about it. Just as is currently the case at the European Council's Extraordinary meeting, I bet there is a difference of opinion.

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