By Libya Herald journalist.
Tunis, 28 February 2015:
Omar Al-Hassi, the so-called prime minister of the GNC-Libya Dawn coalition’s salvation government currently ruling . . .[restrict]Tripoli, insisted that the financial statistics that he had presented a week ago during a live TV broadcast were accurate official figures.
Hassi, speaking Thursday during another TV broadcast insisted that Libya was not poor and that it was not going through a financial crises nor was it going through austerity. He reiterated that the Central Bank of Libya and Libyan banks have over LD 100 billion available.
Hassi implied that these amounts were therefore available to the Libyan state to spend.
Al-Hassi was reacting to the criticism he had received especially on social networks after last Thursday’s comments on Libya’s financial status.
He particularly received criticism for the perception of his lack of economic and financial understanding and his suggestion that Libya could liquidate its assets and investments domestically and abroad in local and foreign currencies to pay wages for example, without causing a major devaluation of the Libyan dinar and a collapse in purchasing powers.
Hassi also received criticism for not appreciating the need for legitimacy, security and stability in the Libyan political and business environment in order that commercial banks feel the confidence to give out loans.
For example, there are no workable and enforceable laws in Libya currently that safeguard the interests of banks if debtors were to default on loans – a fact that has forced Libyan banks to sit on mountains of cash rather than employ them efficiently as loans.
Al-Hassi also talked during his broadcast on the need to activate and expand the role of the private sector in Libya and move away from the socialist-command type economy under Qaddafi.
However, besides making these wishful statements, he failed again to show or exhibit an appreciation or understanding of the fact that the private sector can only operate efficiently and widely in a safe, secure stable, political and business environment.
Al-Hassi made no detailed analyses or presented no detailed policy measures as to how his so-called government was going to create such a positive pro-private sector environment at least in the Tripoli region under the military control of his GNC-Libya Dawn coalition.
Al-Hassi said that his government were working closely with the GNC on the preparation of the 2015 budget, however he failed to present even in broad headings the content of this budget or how under Libya’s current economic circumstances it was going to finance such a budget. [/restrict]