France wants to cut all Libyan finance: minister

1st March 2011, Comments 0 comments

France wants Europe to seize Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi's external finance networks, and notably to stop him from selling off shares in order to fund repression, a minister said Tuesday.

Governments have begun measures to freeze any Libyan assets they suspect are linked to Kadhafi's regime, which is battling an opposition revolt, but France's European affairs minister Laurent Wauquiez wants to go further.

"We need to turn off the tap in ensuring, first, that oil money does not go to Kadhafi and, secondly, that he can't sell off assets," he told RMC radio.

"France, on this point, is in favour of the European Union going further than it is so far planning to go," he said.

Wauquiez warned that the Libyan government owns stakes in several large European firms, and said it must not be allowed to offload shares in order to "hire mercenaries" to crack down on its own citizens.

© 2011 AFP

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