Italy gives Libya $$ compensation for colonial rule

… That’s $5 billion-worth. Probably nowhere near enough if you recall it’s been 65 years since the Italians were booted out by the British Army. (If Italy had compensated Libya in 1943 and the Libyan government had simply put the money into safe investments at, say, 5% then Italy could have gotten away with paying only $250 million, back then.)
But better than nothing. Berlusconi, visiting Banghazi, also handed back the head of a Roman-era statue that Italian soldiers had looted from Cyrene, in Libya, back in 1913.
Wow, Asia and the rest of Africa: When will the rest of you get your compensation from the foreign colonial powers?
And the Palestinians???
And the natives of America, north and south?
Berlusconi is an interesting character. Truly a maverick for such a rightwinger. He’s also been one of the most firmly anti-confrontation figures in Europe in the present to-do over Russia.

17 thoughts on “Italy gives Libya $$ compensation for colonial rule”

  1. And you Britons? When will you pay India/Pakistan? There may not be enough dough in circulation to pay for the British Empire debt. And Spain to Mexico and Peru? The Palestinians should get some money from Turks and Britons. And the Maori? Would they collect from Kiwis, or directly from Britain? The ex-soviet states may want to hold back on requesting back payment at this time or the checks may be delivered in tanks like poor Georgia. Just call it even and be grateful the bear is out. Any chance of getting some money from the Roman Empire misdeeds? The amount may be small but with compound interest over millenia? Who pays for the Romans, poor Berlusconi again?

  2. Wow, Asia and the rest of Africa: When will the rest of you get your compensation from the foreign colonial powers?
    I was astonished to discover recently that the 1941 minefields along the Mediterranean coast hadn’t been cleared and that this is holding back development of areas of Egypt.

  3. Don
    But why is confrontational Cheney visiting anti-confrontational Berlusconi next week? Can any of our European readers clear this up?
    Italy? What’s that for? Be calm. You don’t need to eat your tie.
    Thanks for the first rational op ed I have seen come from the US. The belicose Guardian echoes the sentiment this morning.
    Cheney is going to Rome to lean on Berlusconi and make him an offer he can’t refuse (until after January 18th).
    Italy is the NATO member that expressed a Russia friendly point of view in the early days of the Georgia mess. It has maintained a “snakes elbows” profile since.
    This may have a lot to do with enlightened self interest. They just signed up to a lot of cheap gas through their Southstream piepline.
    Posted by: Frank al Irlandi at August 27, 2008 01:16 AM
    Italy does not have a warship in the Black Sea
    You might find a subscription to Stratfor of interest. He has a very useful map of European dependence on Natural Gas. Italy is over 30%.

  4. Don
    This from the UK Prime Minister to answer your question about Italy. I wonder if he is talking about being nice to Iran.
    Without urgent action we risk sleepwalking into an energy dependence on less stable or reliable partners. That is why we in the UK are putting in law our commitment to cut CO2 emissions by 60 per cent by 2050, looking to replace our ageing nuclear power plants, to encourage greener fuels to power our homes and businesses and to transform the way we travel. Europe also needs to take action. Tomorrow’s summit must add urgency to the work on Europe’s energy agenda. We must more rapidly build relationships with other producers of oil and gas. Our response must include a redoubling of our efforts to complete a single market in gas and electricity, a collective defence to secure our energy supplies.
    I will also be pressing European leaders to increase funding for a project to allow us to source energy from the Caspian Sea, reducing our dependence on Russia. I will encourage European partners to use our collective bargaining power rather than seek separate energy deals with Russia. And because the environmental necessity is urgent, we must deliver an ambitious 2020 climate and energy package by the end of this year.

  5. Helena, reading to much in this deal the fact Gadaffi gave no details of the amount of money involved in the deal but Berlusconi said on arrival that $200m (BD75m) per year will be invested by Italy in Libya over 25 years.
    “Italian companies will set up more business in Libya,” Berlusconi said, without giving details.
    Italian officials said the amount of compensation would total $5bn in investments, including the construction of a highway across Libya from the Tunisian border to Egypt.
    “This agreement opens the path to further cooperation.”
    In return, Italy wants Libya to crack down on illegal migrants turning up on Italian shores, and Italy will fund US$500 million worth of electronic monitoring devices on the Libyan coastline.
    Italy expects in return to win energy contracts and for the Tripoli government to toughen security measures, including joint maritime patrols, to stem the flow of illegal migrants.
    Wow the built Libya after they destroyed decade ago Wow Helena… This deal really seamier fishy.

  6. This is some impressive spin. Italy is spending some millions to curb Libyan immigration and get its hands on some (desperately needed) gas concessions, and it’s called ‘reparations for colonialism.’ brilliant. what a ‘maverick’.

  7. Don
    How is this for confrontational?
    The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Dallas, involved in delivering aid to Georgia, is slated to visit the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol, which the Russian Black Sea Fleet uses, on Sept. 1, a source in the Sevastopol city administration told RIA Novosti on Aug. 30. The Dallas, which recently delivered aid to the Georgian port of Batumi, will visit Sevastopol at Kiev’s invitation

  8. frank, europeans have a lot more leverage over russia than vice versa. Russias pipelines all flow west. The EU gets only 1/4 of its gas from Russia, but Russia exports gas *solely* to the EU. Western Europe also has LNG and coal imports & pipeline access to north africa.

  9. seeing as Palestine was mentioned in passing.
    The rest of the world has been distracted from the rescue of the Fulbright Scholars from Gaza last week by the blockade runners.
    Laila and her pal Heba’s reaction to their arrival is worth reading.

  10. Vadim
    There is some quite extensive documentation on supply and demand proejctions for oil and gas on the EU website.
    The real fun however is highlighted by the indispensable Bradkhamur. Hence the fuss at tomorrows conference.
    The key issue for the last ten years has been which way Khazakh oil and Turkmen gas would go. West to Baku and down the BTC, North West to Novorossisk or East to China down the pipeline they are building. The Chinese like a pipeline from central asia becasue the US Navy can’t interdict it.
    No use having a BTC if you dont have enough oil to fill it.
    The volumes of gas available from Libya and Algeria can supply Italy but aren’t enough for the rest of Europe.

  11. The volumes of gas available from Libya and Algeria can supply Italy but aren’t enough for the rest of Europe.
    True but my point is that Europe’s supply is better diversified than Russia’s market access. Europe has significan LNG regas capacity (and much in development) that lets them import gas from anywherein the world, and massive storage fields to smooth seasonal demand. Russia currently has no market access to China, and neither does turkmenistan, and an 8 bn pipeline to China just isn’t economically feasible for either party. Russia can *only* sell Turkmen gas to Europe and is concentrating all its attention and cash to marketing in the EU.
    ps if you’re interested check this out:
    then launch the ‘interactive map’ — its comprehensive and useful.

  12. Russia may be dependent on the European market for its gas sales, but Europe is becoming increasingly dependent on Gazprom, which has been doing deals with all sorts of suppliers, such as Algeria. Berlusconi’s deal with Libya may be in part an attempt to prevent Gazprom from doing a deal with Libya.
    Too bad the Palestinians cannot take advantage of their aquifers to get some “compensation” from Israel. As it stands now, Israel just sucks the water out, then charges Palestinians higher rates than Israelis for the privilege of consuming their own water.
    I’ve often wondered why Europeans governments feel obligated to compensate Jews for the wrongs of WWII, while Israelis feel no obligation to compensate Palestinians for the wrongs of 1948.

  13. Let see the life under the colonies and occupier that Helena deliberately did not motioned as Iraq stable and sovereign all this crap that we still hear it from writer’s propaganda:

    Our flight to Turkey was six hours late and arrived at 3.30 a.m. I was very worried because the word “late” in Iraq means you expect to be shot. Not by terrorists, but by the Iraqi army or the Americans, unless you have a good excuse or are very lucky.

    Returning to Iraq, our flight was also late, by four hours. I was so worried since our arrival to Baghdad was at 10.30 p.m. and that was not safe.

    The streets in Baghdad after 9 p.m. are very dangerous and full of army, police and American checkpoints. Sometimes they can’t understand why you are out late and shoot, and sometimes they understand.

    Maybe the airplane is more important than the passengers. Well, we are Iraqis and no one cares about our safety. They care more about their interests and our oil. I totally understand that, and have got used to living with this reality.

    So is this life that any of you if he put himself in it what he will say or what he will do?
    After six years the country and state ruined by invader and occupier The streets were empty, shops were closed. There was only us, the army and the blast walls. on claims of regime change the people of Iraq living in Hell on the ground before the second one up in the sky. All this some writing from thier living in their warm convenient corners writing their words of illusion to tell us.
    The money worth nothing with the damage the suffering people went through, if you think this money do recover people from the horror that they been you are wrong because that your culture all about money we saw that in “Fear Factor” people did crazy things for money.

  14. In the last four years, Estonia, Latvia and Ukraine have also suffered mysterious shortages while embroiled in disputes with Russia.
    Russia’s oil pipelines (especially druzhba) are in horrible condition. Of course it serves the interests of some (sensationalist russophobes at the telegraph) to portray maintenance on a famously decrepit pipeline as some kind of calculated ‘political pressure’ [and of course its an oil not a gas pipeline but who cares right?].
    the last thing russia needs or wants is this bully image, though I’m sure it sells papers.

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