U.K. wants to deposit Libyan oil money in escrow

Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi.

TEXT OF STORY

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron have agreed to look at a whole host of options in response to the crisis in Libya. Besides any kind of military intervention on the table, the British have drawn up a financial crackdown, which would block Libya, and the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, from profiting off of any oil sales.

From London, here's Marketplace's Stephen Beard.


STEPHEN BEARD: The world has already tightened the screw on Gaddafi's personal finances. Many of his assets and those of his family and cronies have been frozen. But the countries is still producing some oil. And analysts reckon the regime is still making at least $150 million a week selling it on the world market.

Now the Brits are urging the United Nations to stop this flow, to divert the cash into a special account. The account would be run by the UN on behalf of the Libyan people. Speaking in Parliament Foreign Secretary William Hague spelt out the benefit of such a plan.

WILLIAM HAGUE: To reduce the financial flows to the Gaddafi regime, which of course may be used to support the level of violence and attempts to suppress the protests.

Yesterday the European Union stepped up the financial pressure on Gaddafi. It imposed sanctions on the country's main investment arm, with assets worth $70 billion.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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