He came, he pitched a tent, he conquered, and now he’s in Spain.
The EUropean’s favorite tyrant du jour arrived in Spain, along with 300 attendants. 30 bodyguard babes and a camel, and pitched his tent at the Palacio del Pardo, but first he stopped by Hacienda La Boticaria hotel, 11 miles southeast of Seville, smack in the heart of Al-Andalus.
Apparently some in France were relieved to see him go, particularly after
Gaddafi also took a boat trip down the Seine, after insisting that all the capital’s bridges be closed to traffic and pedestrians. On Thursday his bodyguards came to blows in the lobby of the Ritz Hotel with security personnel accompanying former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Never mind that pseky torture lawsuit; Muammar’s been immune from prosecution in France since 2001.
It’s not clear whether the French deals involved 10 billion euros, or 3 billion euros. What’s interesting is that this tour is part of a planned “Mediterranean Union”, one of Sarko’s pet projects:
To Sarkozy Libya is a linchpin in his plan for a “Mediterranean Union” to defuse tension with Muslim countries.
But back to Gaddafi/Gadhafi/Kadhafi, or however you spell it, he pitched his tent in the King’s back yard, so to speak:
He visited France last week and paid a private visit to the Andalusia region of southern Spain over the weekend. On Monday he held talks with Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and King Juan Carlos and on Tuesday he is scheduled to meet business representatives. It is the Libyan leader’s first official trip to Spain.
He was greeted at Madrid airport by Defense Minister Jose Antonio Alonso. He then traveled to El Pardo palace on the Spanish capital’s outskirts where he was greeted by the king.
In keeping with the desert tradition of his region, Gadhafi has had a green Bedouin tent set up in the gardens of the Pardo to receive guests. The Pardo palace is the official residence for dignitaries visiting Spain.
Borrowing a page from Hugo, Gaddafi’s danging the oil money carrot:
Spanish firms could also secure bids for 10 billion of the 50 billion dollars which Libya plans to spend to develop its infrastructure, the statement added.
We’ll see how this 3-ring circus turns out.
1988 is a century away…
Via the Baron, it turns that Gaddafi’s a champion of women: FRANCE-LIBYA: I WANT TO SAVE THE EUROPEAN WOMEN, GADDAFI (I took the liberty of highlighting how much of an Alan Alda he is)
PARIS, DECEMBER 13 – Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi showed himself as champion of women’s rights, including of European women, denouncing their “tragic condition” during a conference in Paris yesterday.
On the third day of his controversial visit in France, the Colonel spoke of the ‘Situation of the Women in the World’ in front of one thousand women, almost all of African origin and almost all veiled, in a luxury hall of the Gabriel palace on the Champs-Elysees. “Welcome, Your Excellency,” hundreds of women said in chorus when Gaddafi entered the hall.
“Gaddafi wants the French women to rise at his arrival,” warned Khadija Khali, president of the French Union of Muslim Women and of a pro-Libyan association, who organised the meeting.
Applauded when he denounced “the injustices” towards the African women, the Libyan leader received softer applause when he criticised the “tragic conditions of the woman in Europe, forced sometimes to do work which she refuses”, such as mechanic or bricklayer. “I want to save the European woman who is struggling,” assured the leader of the Libyan revolution.
The audience were invited to ask questions, but without making Gaddafi “angry”, Mrs Khali reminded.
After the end of the conference, France Presse collected some critical opinions. “I came here to see what he had to say,” commented for example Catherine Chastenet, president of the association ‘Femmes et libertes’. “How can he say he has done much for women in the world when he tortured the Bulgarian nurses?” she asks herself. (ANSAmed).