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Press release: Verhofstadt on Libya: "The weak position of the EU makes me sick"


The fall-out from the Japanese tsunami has inevitably dominated media reports and blurred international attention to the rout of the Libyan opposition, left to fend off Gaddafi and his mercenaries by themselves.

ALDE Press release, 16.03.2011

Today at a meeting in Parliament to assess the results of last week's European Council, Guy Verhofstadt denounced the inability of the EU to take decisive action on the Libyan crisis. "This makes me sick," he declared.

"I want to use this opportunity to salute the fifty heroes, the fifty heroes in the power plant ofFukushima, the fifty heroes who at this very moment risk their life in order to save the people ofJapanfrom a nuclear catastrophe. ButJapan, for all its tragedy, is an event we cannot change. We can help. We must help. But unfortunately we cannot change.

"In Libya on the contrary we can change the course of events.  In Libya there are heroes as well. Thousands of them. Sacrificing their life for nothing else then freedom and democracy.  And what are we doing in order to prevent this? What are we doing to prevent what is in fact a new Srebrenica, a new Rwanda, a new Darfur?  Are we helping them? Defending them? Supporting them with arms or a no fly zone? Are we recognizing the opposition government? Are we trying to keep the democratic revolution alive?  No, we are sending fact finding missions".

"Have we learnt nothing from the past? It is now or never".

Marietje Schaake and several other ALDE MEPs have meanwhile today tabled a written question to the High Representative asking for her to lead in establishing an international escrow account where all payments destined to the Libyan National oil company could be diverted and to utilise Gaddafi's frozen assets to assist those suffering at the hands of the Libyan dictator.