- Title: ITALY/ FILE: Berlusconi says Gaddafi no longer controls situation in Libya
- Date: 27th February 2011
- Summary: ROME, ITALY (FILE - AUGUST 2010) (REUTERS) (*** FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY ***) VARIOUS OF GADDAFI AND BERLUSCONI TOURING EXHIBITION ON LIBYA
- Embargoed: 14th March 2011 15:15
- Location: Italy
- Country: Italy
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVACM4XK8O1D5PB07GRJMCLS4CW6
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Berlusconi says Gaddafi no longer controls situation in Libya.Muammar Gaddafi does not seem to be in control of Libya anymore, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Gaddafi's strongest European ally, said on Saturday (February 26).
"We are all holding our breath for what is happening on the African side of the Mediterranean. I have fresh news from a few minutes ago and it appears that, effectively, Gaddafi no longer controls the situation," Berlusconi told a political meeting in Rome, as Gaddafi's opponents closed in on the capital, Tripoli.
Berlusconi, who has been relatively subdued in condemning the violence in Libya, said popular revolts in north Africa could bring democracy and freedom but also trigger the creation of dangerous centres of Islamic fundamentalism a few kilometres from Italian shores and a mass exodus of refugees.
"Italy is directly involved, as well as all the other European countries," said Berlusconi. "Nobody is able to predict what will happen from now on," he added.
Italy has close business ties with Libya, a former Italian colony which supplies around 25 percent of Rome's oil needs and 12 percent of its gas imports.
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