Saint Silvio: Italy agrees to pay Libya $5 billion in occupation compensation

Saint Silvio Berlusconi?Not exactly what you want to here when you’re running the most famous ‘occupation’ around..

YNET / Associated Press

Italy agreed to pay Libya $5 billion as compensation for its 30-year occupation of the country during the 20th century, the Libyan foreign minister told reporters Saturday.

Abdel-Rahman Shalgam said that visiting Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is set to sign a memorandum pledging a $5 billion compensation package involving construction projects, student grants, and pensions for Libyan soldiers who served with the Italians during the Second World War.

“It is a material and emotional recognition of the mistakes that our country has done to yours during the colonial era,” Berlusconi told reporters at the airport on his arrival. “This agreement opens the path to further cooperation.”

In return, Italy wants Libya to crack down on illegal migrants turning up on Italian shores and will fund US$500 million worth of electronic monitoring devices on the Libyan coastline. [...]

These are the kinds of things that can really ruin your week. I’m happy for the Libyans who are seemingly at least a little reformed these days, but now occupation compensation is going to be a new buzzword. Surely it won’t be long before this comes up in Ramallah as an ‘inalienable Palestinian right’.

It’s not so sexy to the press but we’ve already absorbed billions in shekel costs from Gazan withdrawal which involved several thousand Israelis, we are footing the bill regardless how it is termed it seems – But have yet to see much benefit, generous Italian gestures notwithstanding.