24th Jun 2021

EU to freeze assets of top Libyan firms

  • Anti-Gaddafi opposition fighter (Photo: Nasser Nouri)

EU diplomats are close to finalising a list of Libyan companies to be added to a recent asset freeze and travel ban on 26 members of the Gaddafi regime.

A diplomatic contact said the multi-billion-euro Libyan Investment Authority is "very likely" to be included, along with "an investment bank" and around three other firms.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Details are being held back to prevent money being smuggled out before the measures enter into life.

France, Germany and the UK are leading the new initiative.

The sanctions are to be adopted informally at around 10am Brussels time on Tuesday (8 March), unless Italy or Malta - the two EU countries closest to Libya - raise last-minute objections.

The Libyan Investment Authority and the Libyan Central Bank hold stakes in prominent Italian companies, including: 7.6 percent of Italy's largest bank, UniCredit; 7.5 Percent of the Juventus football club; 2 percent of arms firm Finmeccanica; part of car-maker Fiat; part of energy giant Eni; and part of Telecom Italia.

EU ministers meeting at a competitiveness council in Brussels on Thursday are likely to rubber-stamp the measures ahead of an emergency summit on Libya the next day.

"We're looking at targeting assets that are clearly linked to those people already identified [on the list of 26 names] as perpetrators of human rights abuses," another diplomatic source said.

For his part, Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Monday gave a clear indication that Western powers are considering military intervention if the civilian death toll climbs.

"If Gaddafi and his military continue to attack the Libyan population systematically, I can't imagine the international community and UN standing idly by," he told a press conference in Brussels.

He added: "I assume that any Nato operation would take place in accordance with, and pursuant to, a UN mandate, and I take note of the fact that the current UN mandate doesn't authorise the use of armed force."

Nato defence ministers are to meet in the EU capital on Thursday and Friday in an event scheduled before the Libya conflict began.

News in Brief

  1. Gay-rights activist storms pitch at Hungary's Euro game
  2. UK defies Russian military over Crimea
  3. Delta variant to be 'predominant in EU by end-August'
  4. EU domestic banks need climate-risk plans
  5. Report: France and Germany want EU-Russia summit
  6. New EU rules on shipping fuels dubbed 'disastrous'
  7. Japan government proposes four-day working week
  8. US: Nord Stream 2 undermines Ukraine's security


Why Russia politics threaten European security

Russia could expand hostile operations, such as poisonings, including beyond its borders, if it feels an "existential" threat and there is no European pushback.


Ten years on from Tahrir: EU's massive missed opportunity

Investing in the Arab world, in a smart way, is also investing in the European Union's future itself. Let's hope that the disasters of the last decade help to shape the neighbourhood policy of the next 10 years.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. EU talks migration over dinner, as NGO rescue-ship sets sail
  2. EU enlargement still 'hopelessly stuck'
  3. EU creates new cyber unit, after wave of online attacks
  4. How NOT to frame debate about Hungary's toxic anti-gay law
  5. What a post-Netanyahu Israel means for EU
  6. EU Commission warns Hungary over anti-LGBTIQ measures
  7. Fourteen EU countries condemn Hungary over anti-LGBTIQ law
  8. EU preparing to lift Burundi sanctions, despite warning

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us