THERE IS A NEWS that in these days runs from mouth to mouth in Libya. A signal that confirms that the country has entered a new phase, waiting for the possibility of finally going to elections on 24 December. Husni Husni Bey, the president of the “Husni Bey Holding Group” has returned to Tripoli. After 4 years of voluntary exile for security reasons, the head of the most important private economic group in Libya has returned to his country. After a long period in Milan, London, Cairo, Tunis and Beirut, he is now at his desk in the Tripoli office to take care of the affairs of his companies.
The Husni Bey Brothers are 10 brothers and sisters who have interests in finance, automotive, food distribution, logistics in Libya and North Africa. They distribute from Ferrero to Procter & Gamble, have hotels and stakes in banks. They descend from a great-great-grandfather who arrived in Libya from Turkey two centuries ago: today they are 100% Libyans after the creation of the state in 1951.
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Husni Husni Bey did kindergarten with the sisters of Ivrea in Tripoli, schools with the Salesians in Benghazi and then the “Leon Pancaldo” nautical institute in Savona for merchant ship captains. He speaks perfectly Italian, Napolitano has appointed him Commander, he has always been closely linked to Italy and Europe. The importance of the HB Group is not only in the turnover. But in the fact that the companies and the 10 brothers of the group are present and distributed in all the cities of the country, almost in every financial and commercial activity. They have the pulse of Libya, and Libya respects them a lot.
“I came back because it is the right time, and it is also the time to send a clear message: the elections of 24 December must be held, without any step backwards, without any uncertainty. Anyone in Europe and North Africa who intends to initiate a process to stabilize Libya and reduce chaos in our region must understand one thing: the December 24 elections are not the final solution, democracy in Libya will not be born that day. initial step is vital, it is necessary. There is no need to hesitate “.
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Doctor Husni Bey, for months you have lived as a wanderer (millionaire) among your homes in Milan, London, Cairo…. What convinced you to come back?
“The importance of the elections on the 24th next month. The Libyan people await these elections with hope, everyone is confident that the democratic process will restart with the vote of 24 December, that a path can be started that will bring back peace, stability, and also the economic prosperity that the country could build if it succeeded. to rediscover a positive internal dynamic “.
Do you really believe that after all these years of civil war Libyan society is ready to follow a democratic model? The Libyans have massacred each other …
“What alternative do we have? Democracy and stability will not be born in a day. But elections are the first tool to start stabilizing the country. And if Libya is stable, the region will benefit: a prosperous Libya will offer opportunities to many economic refugees who currently view Libya only as a transit bridge to Europe. Today in fact we still have two Parliaments that are always in disagreement, the House of Representatives which has moved to Tobruk and the High Council of State which meets in Tripoli. A reunification in a single elective chamber and a legitimation of the political system with new elections are necessary. Then the thousand political currents, the different interests, the different points of view will continue to clash, but at least within a political body, of recognized and re-legitimated institutions ”.
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Don’t you think that there are too many protagonists who, believing they can be marginalized by the vote, will try to sabotage this process? For example, it is said that the Muslim Brotherhood believe they are still weak and therefore would like to postpone everything …
“I don’t want to talk about or interpret the individual interests, the views of the various political groups. But the condition of the country is such that slowing down the political process risks creating the conditions for new military clashes. In my opinion, the political and presidential elections will be a success despite all the reservations and fears. They will initiate a process of political confrontation in a progressively more linear context. And at worst they won’t create a worse situation than we are in. Without elections, the political, economic and security crises will worsen. Not to mention the problem of migration “.
On the issue of migrants, there are now many departures even among Libyan citizens.
“Many Libyan citizens have started to emigrate due to the lack of security, and the political-economic crisis. In Libya, the crisis has screwed up in the last 7 years, exactly since 2014, due to the political-military crisis, followed by an economic crisis due to internal division. The division of the Central Bank of Libya between East and West is one of the negative factors that worsen the conditions of the economy. Since 2016, inflation has erased 65% of the value of the Libyan currency, impoverishing 80% of the population while in this process 2% of speculators got rich by playing only with the currency “.
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I insist: but how is it possible that elections help the political crisis and improve security in such a chaotic and fragmented context? The real risk is to see the clash return to military status in the coming months.
“The elections will certainly help the reunification of the central bank and the army which has so far been divided into autogenous groups. The reunification of these two sovereign apparatuses will be a decisive impetus for the improvement of economic and political conditions. A push for the normalization of the subsidy system and of the dinar / Libyan exchange rate against the dollar. In recent years, billions of dollars have been burned to subsidize gasoline, petroleum products and to supply dollars at controlled prices to traders. Billions of dollars! All currency that was used for the benefit of militias and traffickers who acted by taking advantage of the distortions of the Libyan market. Without a new Parliament there cannot be a single central bank and therefore the political process is inevitable. We have to build a Libyan settlement, we have to do it ourselves. No hesitation, let’s go and vote for Libya ”.
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