Montag, 26. Dezember 2011

Unfreezing of Libyan assets in Austria

On Friday, 23 December, the Austrian Foreign Ministry announced, that following last week´s UN Security Council resolution and the respective decision of the EU council, Austria has unfrozen all Libyan assets in Austria.
The total amount of official Libyan assets with Austrian banks amounts to 1,2 billion Euros. Austria had already unfrozen 150 million Euros at the beginning of September. Those 150 millions were unfrozen under certain conditions. The recent step now implies a complete and unconditional availability of the funds to the Libyan government. Libyan officials have - since the beginning - demanded a release of their assets. Other EU countries are expected to follow soon. However, this does not mean that the money will be available in Libya very soon: The assets are mainly time deposits and investments in different areas. The libyan government (LIA and CBL) will have to decide now which assets to hold and which assets to sell.
Hopefully this will now also help reduce the cash crisis, prevailing in Libya since a couple of weeks. Though, it will take some time until money (cash) is physically moved to Libya and can thus show the Libyan people that Libyan dinars can be exchanged without any limits to dollars/Euros or any other foreign currency.  

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