Libya to compensate citizens for nationalised assets

TRIPOLI – Libya will compensate citizens for properties seized in a wave of nationalisation in the early 1970s, a charity group run by a son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said.

“The government has issued an executive order on the compensation matter which will be impl

emented in the next few days,” the Gaddafi Foundation, which is led by Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam, said late on Tuesday.

The government has yet to make an official statement on the issue but Saif al-Islam, who is widely seen as his father’s most trusted representative, has voiced support for the compensation over the past three years.

The payout would be part of a drive to lure back exiles who fled the country after losing shops, farms and businesses to mass nationalisation shortly after Gaddafi toppled the monarchy in a bloodless military coup 37 years ago, diplomats say.

The compensation is also part of policy shift towards what Gaddafi called “mass capitalism” after three decades of strict socialist-style economy.

It was not immediately clear how many people will be able to get compensation or how much money might be paid out. Government officials were not available for comment.

But the Gaddafi Foundation said it had recorded at least 400 expropriation cases and said compensation will be made according to estimates based on current prices of the expropriated assets. — Reuter