Italy to pay $5 billion compensation to Libya
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
BENGHAZI, Libya - Italy agreed Saturday to pay Libya $5 billion as compensation for its 30-year occupation of the country, which ended in 1943.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi signed a memorandum pledging the compensation package involving construction projects, student grants and pensions for Libyan soldiers who served with the Italians during the Second World War.
"It is a material and emotional recognition of the mistakes that our country has done to yours during the colonial era," Berlusconi told reporters at Benghazi airport on his arrival. "This agreement opens the path to further co-operation."
In return, Italy wants Libya to crack down on illegal migrants turning up on Italian shores, and Italy will fund $500 million worth of electronic monitoring devices on the Libyan coastline.