By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 28 July 2013:
For the second press conference in a row, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan stresses the need for . . .[restrict]Libya to resume its stalled projects.
Speaking at Wednesday’s press conference, Zeidan said that if Libya does not execute its projects it will end up facing court cases from foreign contractors.
Zeidan further warned that as part of this process, Libya’s assets abroad could be frozen. Equally, he stressed that his government could not use money in the budget allocated for projects in other areas.
The Prime Minister seems to be getting exasperated by the inflexibility of the GNC and, it seems, its unwillingness to release money for foreign contractors to resume their projects.
His comment seems to be directed to the GNC and an indication to foreign contractors and the general Libyan public that it is not his decision to hold up the resumption of stalled projects.
Zeidan also, it seems, wants to explain to the general Libyan public that his hands are tied and that if money allocated for projects is not used for projects, he cannot use it elsewhere.
His statement indicates that Zeidan is in favour of releasing some of the money owed to foreign contractors, as per an agreed formula of 50 percent upon commencement of work and the balance thereafter in tranches.
What Zeidan did not explain, however, is how he expected foreign companies to send employees to Libya in the current security situation, and whether his government was considering any special security measures specifically for foreign employees if they chose to return to their projects.
At a conference in Tripoli in June at least two foreign companies, AECOM and Shapoorji, indicated their readiness to return to re-commence work in Libya.
However, with the continued inability of the Libyan authorities to dominate the general security situation, and without any special security measures for contractors at their sites, it is difficult to see how international contractors could return to Libya in the short term. [/restrict]