LIA: Is Breish an old hand or a new broom?
Life and logistics are still not simple in Libya. A lot of damage has been done that cannot be fixed overnight. “Everything in Libya, every apartment building or inch of asphalt for a road, involved corruption and fees,” says one Libyan. “In every sector – oil, construction – there is a cloud of doubt hanging over it, not just the LIA, and there is no sense in singling out that one institution.
“Libya was an unjust society, with a small regime-backed elite making millions in public-sector jobs, while the rest of the population had to make do on a pittance under law 15 of 1981 [which froze wages for several decades]. There was no meritocracy and no market mechanism to determine how people were rewarded for their efforts.”
The tension between those who want change and those who thrived in the old guard is important to understand when assessing the changes taking place at the LIA itself. One Libyan explains: “There was, and is, a feud between the old and new guard.”
So where does Abdulmagid Breish fit into this picture? For all his new-broom rhetoric it is illuminating to note that, according to documents acquired by Euromoney, he was a member of the LIA’s board of trustees at the outset back in 2007.