Europe Will Pay a Price for Reliance on Libya

(Los Angeles Times) Eric J. Weiner - The destruction of Libya Inc. is likely to be a most painful blow to the nations of Europe that have come to rely on a steady flow of oil and petrodollars from Moammar Gaddafi's nation. Libya supplies almost a quarter of Italy's oil. Libya also owns 7.5% of the Italian bank UniCredit and has investments in Fiat, the defense conglomerate Finmeccanica, the energy company ENI, the soccer team Juventus and a variety of other Italian businesses. In 2009, the EU's two-way trading with Libya amounted to more than $37 billion, with Germany, France and Spain among its leading partners. The bulk of this was petroleum, as Libya supplies more than 10% of Europe's oil. That's what Europe is losing as Libya burns. In many ways, the nation with the most at stake economically is Britain. Libya has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on prime London commercial real estate. With Libya descending into chaos, Europe is losing a major partner just when its key economies are struggling to regain their footing.

2011-03-25 00:00:00

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