ECONOMY: TRADE, COMMUNICATIONS AND TOURISM
As far as trade is concerned, exchanges with foreign countries are intense, essentially taking place with the EU (in particular Italy and Germany); the trade balance is largely in surplus (2018). Trade is positively affected by the normalization of relations with the EU and the United States, which began in 2003 and took off in 2005. Approximately 95% of exported goods are made up of hydrocarbons, while imports are mainly represented by machinery and means of transport, as well as from various industrial products, but also, for a high percentage, from foodstuffs. § The development of communication routes has been impressive, even though the railways are still missing; in 2001 the country could count on over 83,200 km of roads, half of which approx. asphalted. Of particular note are the coast road, Sebha. Relevant are the air services: the main airports are located in Tripoli and Benghazi / Benina, Sebha and Misurata. Communications with foreign countries also take place through the port of Tripoli, followed by that of Benghazi, Marsa Brega, Misurata and Tobruch. § Thanks to the gradual reopening of international relations, direct tourism in the desert (Akakus, Murzuq) and in archaeological sites (Leptis Magna, Sabratha) is recovering. In 2004, approx. 149,000 tourist entries into the country. Today, the strong political instability has significantly reduced the influx of tourists into the country.
At the end of the conflict – while various political parties were formed in Tripoli and Senussite influence was reasserted in Cyrenaica with the patronage of Great Britain – the four great powers sought an agreement on the fate of the territory (formally removed from Italy with the 23 of the 1947 Peace Treaty). On November 21, 1949, the UN General Assembly to which the matter had been devolved proclaimed the need to establish an independent state. It was therefore sanctioned that the three areas, Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, administered after the conflict by Great Britain, and Fezzan, governed by the French, were reunited to form an independent Kingdom of Libya. On December 24, 1951 the Kingdom of Libya was proclaimed with the approval of the Idrīs as-Sanūsī which king. The following year Idris I banned all political parties, dissolved the Assembly and embarked on an authoritarian line of government, legitimizing it on the basis of his religious authority. A significant influence was exerted on the new state by Great Britain and the United States, as a consequence of the treaties of July 1953 and September 1954, which, in exchange for financial aid, allowed a military presence of the two powers (a treaty with France was stipulated in 1955). In October 1956, Italy and Libya resolved numerous issues then pending between the two countries. Thanks to the growing oil production, from the 1960s Libya was able to strengthen its infrastructures and launch a vast program of social promotion. The regime of Idris I, however, was continually hindered by the continuous conflict of authority between the federal government and the provincial governments, so much so that in 1963 the monarch abolished the federal form of government and modified the Constitution, creating a unitary monarchical state, characterized by a strong central power. In September 1969, a military coup deposed the old ruler Idrīs and decreed the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of a revolutionary republican government, legitimized on 11 December by a provisional Constitution. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi (In September 1969, a military coup deposed the old ruler Idrīs and decreed the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of a revolutionary republican government, legitimized on 11 December by a provisional Constitution. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi (In September 1969, a military coup deposed the old ruler Idrīs and decreed the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of a revolutionary republican government, legitimized on 11 December by a provisional Constitution. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi (Qaddāfi Mu’ammar). From the beginning, the cornerstones of Gaddafi’s policy, characterized by a rigid extremism towards Israel, a strong ideological imprint (exaltation of Islamic nationalism) and a heated “verbal extremism”, appeared as an effort to consolidate and increase the economic independence of the country and, at the same time, as the attempt to ensure Libya a hegemonic position within the Arab world. Libya’s foreign policy moved in this direction, while on the economic level it managed to simultaneously develop intense trade exchanges with Western Europe (and especially with Italy) and important cooperation agreements with the USSR, on the more strictly political level, he moved on the double track of repeated attempts to unify Libya with other Arab countries, which were systematically thwarted (with Egypt in 1971, with Tunisia in 1974, with Syria in 1980, with Chad in 1981), and of sensational ruptures and destabilization activities where the hegemonic and pan-Arab program encountered the strongest obstacles (exemplary, in this sense, the story of relations with Egypt of as-Sadāt, culminating in open and irreducible hostility by the 1977, when the Egyptian president took the initiative of direct negotiations with Israel). Gaddafi’s internal policy responded to the same ends, which opened with nationalization of foreign banks and property, had its highlight in the broad constitutional reform of March 1977.