Ravings From The Bog

Italy Pays Libya For Colonial Crimes – When’s Our Turn?

Italy has agreed to pay Libya US$5billion in reparations for their 30-year occupation of Libya that ended in 1943.

That’s a great idea, Silvio, and I’m absolutely certain that it has nothing whatsoever to do with the millions of barrels of oil reserves that Libya is sitting on!

It may, however, be a very dangerous trend to start. I don’t think it has been thought through fully. Simple mathematics tells me that if we divide the $5 billion by 30 (years of occupation) and multiply that by roughly 800 (years Britain has been occupying Ireland) and then divide that tidy sum by 1500000 (current population of Northern Ireland – NB: the “West Brits” living in the south are still minted from the Celtic Tiger economy and aren’t the type to share with us), we’re set for a windfall of at least £88888 (US$178998) each!!! What will you buy with yours?

Now…apply this principle around the world and it gets even better. Suddenly, (but temporarily) the current US economic worries are forgotten with the reparations owed by the UK (1629-1776!). Of course, very shortly after that, the US needs to raid Fort Knox to spread some real aid to all of it’s pseudo-colonies (mostly political, puppet-government run, second and third world countries, but with some exceptions). You can see where I’m going here… Dream on!

Italy agreed Saturday to pay Libya US$5 billion as compensation for its 30-year occupation of the country, which ended in 1943.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi signed a memorandum pledging a US$5 billion compensation package involving construction projects, student grants and pensions for Libyan soldiers who served with the Italians during World War II.

“It is a material and emotional recognition of the mistakes that our country has done to yours during the colonial era,” Berlusconi told reporters at the airport on his arrival. “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.

Gadhafi received Berlusconi under a big tent in Benghazi where they discussed the agreement over lunch. The Italian leader said US$200 million of the package would be for infrastructure projects over the next 25 years, including a coastal highway stretching across the country from Tunisia to Egypt.

The two leaders exchanged gifts, with Berlusconi giving Gadhafi a silver inkstand, sculpted in the form of a lion’s head, with two pens inside to sign the agreement. The Libyan leader gave Berlusconi a linen suit.

Berlusconi’s office said in a statement that the premier would also hand over to Gadhafi the Venus of Cyrene, an ancient Roman statue taken in 1913 by Italian troops from the ruins of the Greek and Roman settlement of Cyrene, on the Libyan coast.

Relations between the two countries have warmed over the last few years, with Italian leaders meeting Gadhafi several times. However, it has taken years of negotiations for the two sides to reach a deal on compensation for Italy’s rule over Libya from 1911 to 1943.

Libya named Aug. 30 Libyan-Italian Friendship Day.


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