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Libya's journey to reconstruction arduous (3)

(Xinhua)

11:05, August 25, 2011

ECONOMIC TROUBLES

Without political stability, the recovery of Libya's mauled economy will still be in jeopardy for some time.

After prolonged conflict, electricity, medical support, clean water and food are all in dire shortage. "How to bring back the normal life will be the most important issue that the rebels face," Alnubi said.

Moreover, in power for 42 years, Gaddafi has provided the Libyan people with some basic living guarantees, but also squandered vast wealth, and was blamed for setting ceilings for citizens' salaries, ignoring investing on civil structure, and leaving jobless rate high outside the government.

Having pledged to bring new life to the Libyans, among whom some traveled from overseas to join the battle to topple Gaddafi, the rebels need a whole set of systematic plans that ensure a stronger economy and higher living standards.

But as a key oil producer, Tripoli now faces difficulty in restoring its petroleum production and export in the coming 1-2 years, as experts consider, after the destruction of facilities in key oil towns such as Brega and Las Ranuf.

Therefore, the unfreezing of assets, which could be used for satisfying basic needs, are seen as the linchpin for the new government's attempt to lay the first brick in rebuilding the country, as well as restoring people's confidence.

But, as the United States has request the UN Security Council to unfreeze 1.5 billion U.S. dollars Libyan assets, South Africa and Russia, among others, in a UN committee on Libyan sanctions where proposals works by consensus, have expressed reservations about the idea. While, analysts also doubt the rebels' ability to use the money properly and reasonably even if it is immediately available.

With sublime confidence, Jibril said during the Wednesday meeting with Sarkozy that "We are going to develop a civil society which will include all Libyans who want to rebuild their country for generations." But whether this will be followed by concrete steps and results remains to be seen.

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