By Ahmed Elumami.
Tripoli, 27 November 2013:
Months of strikes at the country’s oil fields and export terminals have seen production plummet, plunging . . .[restrict]Libya into a financial crisis, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said today.
He said the situation had become so critical that the government was now facing the prospect of borrowing money.
Zeidan added that the state budget, which relied heavily on oil revenues, was critically overstretched and warned that the government may soon not be able to afford to pay salaries.
Speaking at today’s press conference, he said the government had run out of patience with “the criminals” who were still blockading the oil fields. Production has now plummeted to just 20 percent of the country’s capacity.
“I do not accept violence easily, but the government will respond with necessary actions to protect the resources of the state,” he said. The blockades were “a crime and betrayal of the state,” Zeidan said, since those responsible were the very guards who had been tasked with protecting Libya’s oil.
The country’s hydrocarbon resources were for all Libyans, Zeidan said. [/restrict]