EU considers freezing Ben Ali's assets

This would mean all of the bloc's 27 countries would have to freeze Tunisia's former leader's assets.

EU considers freezing Ben Ali's assets

The European Union could freeze the assets of Tunisia's ousted president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, EU officials said on Thursday, following similar moves by some European governments.

This would mean all of the bloc's 27 countries would have to freeze Tunisia's former leader's assets.

Ben Ali's 23-year rule collapsed last week when he fled to Saudi Arabia after weeks of violent unrest spurred by anger over poverty and repression. A coalition government that replaced him is investigating how his family accumulated vast wealth.

Switzerland has already announced plans to freeze Ben Ali's assets.

A spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said EU governments had started preparing a package of measures to address the situation in Tunisia that could include sanctions as well as support for democratic and economic reforms.

"We are working on a package of measures to help Tunisia ... in contact with the Tunisian authorities," Maja Kocijancic told a daily briefing by the EU executive.

"The European Union has means to introduce a freezing of assets held by the Ben Ali family," she added.

Foreign ministers of EU governments will take a decision on any sanctions or support for Tunisia this month, she said.

Reuters

Last Mod: 21 Ocak 2011, 11:46
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