US President Bill Clinton faces the wrath of EU governments

Series Title
Series Details 25/07/96, Volume 2, Number 30
Publication Date 25/07/1996
Content Type

Date: 25/07/1996

if he decides to sign into law new sanctions against foreign companies which invest in oil and gas projects in Iran and Libya, approved by the US House of Representatives this week. If he does, European firms could be barred from exporting goods to the US if they invest 32 million ecu or more in one year in either country. The sanctions bill does not affect existing investments, but EU firms with big stakes in Libya's oil sector include Agip (Italy), Repsol (Spain), Total (France), Petrofina (Belgium) and OMV (Austria). In Iran, Total would be number one on the US 'hit list'. Energy Commissioner Christos Papoutsis said the bill threatened oil markets, and Hugo Paemen, the EU's ambassador to Washington, said the Union was “considering countermeasures in order to defend its citizens and its industries”. Possible retaliatory action against a similar law affecting firms with dealings in Cuba is already under consideration.

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