EU Military exports to Libya

The EU exports around €340 million of military equipment to Libya each year. Here are the details — what country, what kind of equipment.

The official record is here. This is data for 2009, the most recent available. I’ve pulled out the relevant data, simplified the categories somewhat, and made a spreadsheet out of it:

What’s to notice in these numbers?

  • €343m per year buys you a lot of weapons. This isn’t fiddling around the edges, it’s a major contribution to keeping Gaddafi in power.
  • The 4 biggest exporters were Italy, Germany, France and the UK. Exactly the same four led the drive in 2004 for the EU to lift the arms embargo on Libya. Can anybody claim with a straight face that this wasn’t a case of commercial interests taking precedence ovr the people of Libya?
  • Britain and France had the most varied arms exports, including much of the really nasty stuff. They provided respectively $210,795 and €476,604 of “Chemical or biological toxic agents, ‘riot control agents’, radioactive materials, related equipment, components and materials”
  • There’s plenty happening that isn’t in these numbers. Take a look at my post on German training services, for a start.
  • Malta’s €80m small-arms sale is an accounting fiction, or possibly some kind of legal dodge. They were sold by an Italian company, which moved them between ships in the sea near Malta.
  • These figures are all for export licenses granted. It’s possible that in some cases the weapons weren’t sold in the end. But licenses are the best public figures we have

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