Italy's Camera approves treaty with Libya

From the Parliament: Chamber: Green light for Italy-Libya treaty

22 January 2009

The Chamber of Deputies has approved the bill for the ratification of the friendship, partnership and cooperation treaty between Italy and Libya signed on 30 August 2008 by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and the Libyan leader, Gheddafi. The bill, which now goes to the Senate, was approved with 413 votes in favour, 63 against and 36 abstentions.

The key points of the treaty, in addition to the general principles cited in Chapter I, are as follows.

End to on-going disputes. Italy pledges to undertake basic infrastructure projects in Libya for a maximum expenditure of 5 billion dollars over 20 years. The funds will be managed by Italy while Libya will provide the land and facilitate Italian companies carrying out the works. Italy will also engage in a number of “special initiatives” such as the construction of 200 homes, the award of university and post-graduate grants to 100 Libyan students, medical treatment in Italy for people injured by mines in Libya, the resumption of payment of war pensions to entitled Libyan citizens and the return of manuscripts and archaeological artefacts taken to Italy during the colonial period.

Libya, for its part, undertakes to issue entry visas to Italian citizens expelled in 1970 who now wish to return to Libya for tourism, work or other reasons. It also undertakes to set up a Social Fund for humanitarian initiatives, to dissolve the Libyan Italian Joint Company and to repeal all measures discriminating against Italian companies. Libya also undertakes to award important development projects and orders to Italian companies.

The new partnership. A wide and balanced bilateral partnership will be established in all sectors of activity: the economy, energy, culture and technological and scientific cooperation, the defence sector, and the fight against terrorism, organised crime and clandestine immigration. In this last sphere, a system to monitor and control Libya’s land borders is also envisaged. Half of the cost will be met by Italy while the European Union will be asked to provide the other half under previous agreements between Brussels and Tripoli.

The ratification bill provides for the Italian Government to award definitive compensation to Italians expelled from Libya in 1970, amounting to 50 million euros from 2009 to 2011.

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