Libyan Assets in Austria

Austria News Briefs

The Austrian government is looking for ways to free up €1.2 billion in frozen Libyan assets held in Austrian commercial banks.

Alexander Schallenberg, spokesperson for the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, told The Vienna Review that the Ministry was applying to the United Nations Sanctions Committee to grant a partial release of the funds, and expected its approval by mid-September.

The Ministry is seeking to commit the funds to the maintenance of the Libyan Embassy in Vienna and the creation of scholarships for Libyan students at Austrian universities, as assets can only be unfrozen for a specific purpose according to the UN Committee’s rules.

The greater part of the assets, belonging to the Libyan Central Bank, the Libyan Investment Authority, several Libyan companies, and 26 Gaddafi associates and frozen in March, will remain under lock until they are claimed by the Libyan successor government.

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