Malta Protecting Itself Against Libya

It’s a complicated thing to be bedfellows with Libya these days.  Malta is finding that out the hard way.  With several companies with Libyan investment, Malta is fretting over the latest sanctions hitting Libya.

Libyan Investments

Malta has Libyan investments in companies such as the Corinthia Group, Medavia, Vivaldi Hotel, Milano Due Hotel and Medelec.  With an investment arm worth $70billion, the Libyan Investment Authority certainly has far-reaching arms.

Tough Place for Malta

Now, Malta is in a tough spot.  While they agree with the sanctions being placed on Libya in theory, they and a number of other EU member states are trying to use their diplomatic pressure to ensure that the sanctions target individuals in the Gaddafi regime and not companies like theirs.  Diplomats have said that the EU’s 27 countries have agreed to sanctions on the LIA, the central bank, three other financial organizations and one individual (in addition to the 26 Libyans include Col. Gaddafi already included on the sanctions list).

Sanctions Coming

Since the sanctions being put in place at the moment will very likely include a freeze on assets of Libyan companies on EU territory, many of the EU states fear the impact that this will have on their own interests.  The details of the restrictions will be published tomorrow in the EU Official Journal. Until then, Malta may just have to hold its breathe and hope.

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