Europe & world

Libya : What next for Gaddafi’s billions?

21 October 2011
Presseurop
Público

Público, 21 October 2011

While much of the European press is running with the circumstances and mystery of the death of Muammar Gaddafi, captured and killed on 20 October while trying to escape his native city of Sirte, Público leads: “Gaddafi left €1.3 billion in Caixa Geral de Depósitos.”

The Lisbon daily can reveal that the Portuguese state bank currently holds €1.3 billion of Libyan state assets deposited in four accounts frozen this March, after the international community clamped sanctions on the late Gaddafi’s regime. The first deposit occurred in 2008, after the Libyan leader closed his Swiss accounts in retaliation for his son's arrest and detention in the country.

For Gazeta Wyborcza editor in chief Adam Michnik, one of the leaders of Poland’s democratic opposition under communism – “Gaddafi’s death is not a cause for joy, but for reflection over the nature of the world that we live in, side by side with dictators. Gaddafi was thought to be indestructible, he blackmailed and humiliated the entire world, he also brought European governments to their knees. He believed in violence and lies but he miscalculated.” Michnik adds that Gaddafi’s death was a clear signal sent to the nations still living under tyranny that “dictatorships are not exempt from punishment, dictators are not immortal”.