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French Version

Libya to unveil sweeping economic reforms

Libya is expected to unveil a vast reform program aimed at making a rigidly-controlled economy more market-friendly and open to privatization, Libyan officials said in an interview appearing Friday in the International Herald Tribune.

"The old times are finished and Libya is ready to move onto a new stage of modernization," Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, son of Libyan leader Moamer Gadhafi, told the paper.

"This will be conducted in a well organized manner that ensures new ownership and ownership by the people of Libya, not just a small class of oligarchs like Russia or Egypt." The paper said that Western advisers, including university academics, business executives and economist Daniel Yergen, had been working with Libyan authorities who hoped to implement the reforms over the next two years.

"These people are world experts," Gadhafi said. "There may be some reaction against them inside Libya, but they are the best." Added Abdulhafid Mahmoud Zlitni, chairman of Libya's National Planning Council: "They will study the structure of the civil service and find ways to streamline bureaucracy and reduce the number of employees."

Beirut,01 31 2005
The Daily Star
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