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Spain freezes Libyan assets

Wed 2th Mar 2011

Earlier today the government said that it plans to freeze Libyan assets in the country, following a number of other Western governments that have announced similar measures targeting businesses and assets linked to the Libyan dictator, Colonel Gadhafi.

Nobody was available to provide additional details on the move, but according to unconfirmed reports in the press, the assets owned by the Libyan government in Spain are relatively small when compared with those in other Western countries. They are believed to include a portfolio of properties and investments with Aresbank, a small Spanish lender that has recently undergone restructuring.

The measure follows a similar announcement by Germany and Austria yesterday. Action by Germany centred around EUR2 million belonging to a son of Gadhafi and held at a German bank, a precautionary measure to make sure the funds didn't move prior to anticipated EU sanctions kicking in as early as later this week.

Austria's central bank reportedly froze about EUR1.16 billion in Libyan assets associated with Gadhafi and his family.

Yesterday the U.K. government revealed that last week it had halted a move by Gadhafi to move EUR1.10 billion worth of new Libyan banknotes out of the U.K.

Tuesday's asset freezes come on top of the EUR22 billion frozen by the USA since last week after it announced sanctions against the Libyan government, which is fighting protesters for demanding an end to Gadhafi's 42-year regime. The U.K. said Monday it had frozen about EUR1.15 billion in Libyan assets.

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