Extra EU sanctions agreed against Libya

AFP , Thursday 10 Mar 2011

The European Union slaps an embargo on sales to Libya of equipment used for internal repression

Libya
Anti-Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi rebel, sits on his anti-aircraft machine gun, outside Ras Lanouf town, eastern Libya, on Thursday 10 March 2011. (AP)

The EU on Thursday agreed added sanctions on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime, notably targeting the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) -- the overseas vehicle for investing Tripoli's oil revenues.

The new sanctions on a Libyan individual as well as five economic "entities", also including the Libyan Central Bank, are to enter into force on Friday when published in the European Union's official journal.

A spokesman for Hungary's EU chair declined to name either the Libyan involved or the three other entities.

"The funds and economic resources of the five designated entities will be frozen and an additional name will be added to the list of 26 individuals deemed responsible for the violent crackdown on the civilian population since February 15 and subject to an asset freeze," the spokesman said.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi said the list was "not definitive, it can be extended in the future."

An EU diplomat who asked not to be named said the other entities on the list were the Libyan Foreign Bank, Libyan Housing and Infrastructure Board, and the Libya Africa Investment Portfolio.

The state LIA, set up in 2006 to diversify national income, has significant shareholdings in Italian bank UniCredit, Italian defence and aeronautical group Finmeccanica, Juventus Football Club and Pearson, the publisher of the Financial Times which itself froze that individual holding last week.

Brussels had already imposed the toughest international sanctions yet on Gaddafi's regime, ordering an asset freeze and visa ban against the Libyan leader and 25 others for brutalising civilians.

The existing measures notably applied to the veteran ruler's seven sons and his daughter, along with his wife Safia Al-Barassi. One new person was also added, another diplomat said.

The new measures bring to 27 the number of Libyans hit by the measures.

Diplomatic sources said the new person targeted was Libyan businessman Mustafa Zarti, whose assets have been frozen in Austria and who has appealed against the move.

The EU sanctions, which target more people than a corresponding UN list, also enforced an embargo on arms sales to Libya, in line with the UN Security Council decision.

But toughening up the UN measures, the EU also slapped an embargo on sales to Libya of equipment which might be used for internal repression.

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