What Libya Has Inherited from Gaddafi

(Washington Post) Anne Applebaum - Libya's Moammar Gaddafi has left an unprecedented vacuum in his wake. Neighboring Egypt has a sophisticated economy, a middle class, foreign investors and an enormous tourist industry. Tunisia has a highly educated population. Libya, by contrast, has neither a sophisticated economy nor an articulate population, nor any political experience whatsoever. There were no political parties under Gaddafi, no media, and hardly any Internet access. During four decades in power, Gaddafi destroyed the army, the civil service and the educational system. The country produces nothing except oil, and none of the profits seem to have trickled down to anybody. Some 60% of the population works for the government for very low salaries. There is hardly any infrastructure. Libya also has the largest oil reserves in Africa and some $250 billion in foreign currency reserves, money Gaddafi never spent on his people. The nonexistent economy and the absence of political institutions means that there aren't any entrenched interests that will set themselves against change, as they have done in Egypt.

2011-10-28 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive