Arab Revolutions: Zapatero advocates intervention in Libya
7 March 2011
Headlining with "Spain seeks Arab support for military intervention in Libya," El País reports that Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero, who is continuing his ongoing diplomatic offensive in North Africa, "has discussed the possiblity of enforcing a no-fly zone [over the country] with [David] Cameron" – a proposal that requires “urgent consideration by the [UN] Security Council,” especially "since France and the UK have voiced their support for rebel leaders."
El País argues for a "firm policy" against Muammar Gaddafi, which would "recognise the provisional Libyan government" and temporarily "suspend payment of oil revenues." Support from Arab countries will be necessary, because as a source in the Spanish government has pointed out, an operation that is "exclusively American or European would be counterproductive" and would enable "Gaddafi to raise the spectre of neo-colonialism." However, at the start of a “crucial” week that will be marked by the Brussels meeting of NATO defence ministers on 10 March and a summit of EU leaders the following day, the international community remains very divided.
In the meantime, La Repubblica announces that "Gaddafi is threatening Europe." In a report based on an interview given to the French weekly Journal du Dimanche, the Italian daily notes that Gaddafi has warned of "thousands of people […] who will invade Europe from Libya," as well as "Bin Laden becoming established in North Africa," attacks on the US Sixth Fleet and acts of piracy. Qualifying the Colonel’s remarks as "geopolitical fantasy," the Roman daily argues that there is little prospect that the leader under pressure can be persuaded to relinquish his grip on the country. In the meantime, the newspaper also notes, that the 6 March landing of over a thousand migrants from Tunisia on Lampedusa has overwhelmed infrastructure for refugees on the island.