Italian industry is on course to get a considerable boost from Libya. On his first visit to Rome, Muammar Gaddafi told business leaders that Libya had set aside 11.8 billion euros to attract foreign investment, and he said Italian investors were his number one priority.
He also said that the north African nation, rich in energy resources, would not favour oil and gas exports to other countries if that would be detrimental to Italian interests. Gaddafi said Libya already supplies Italy with much of its energy, more than 70 per cent of which has to be imported. But there was a mixed reaction for Gaddafi when he addressed a hall filled with around 700 women to express his views on female emancipation. There was applause when he said he believed there was complete equality between men and women. But he was booed when he said European women had not chosen emancipation, but had been forced into it by necessity. Some in the crowd said Gaddafi should learn from Italy to improve conditions for Libyan women.