Zueitina port still remains closed, days after roughly a dozen men forced their way into the oil export facility demanding jobs.
The absurdity of that situation is hard to comprehend. The idea that people would feel that they are somehow entitled to work in a business, and would then threaten their prospective workmates with guns in the hope of securing employment, reveals an attitude that is simply breathtaking.
To some extent this is a cultural problem; a state-owned energy sector that dominates the economy, together with years of dictatorship during which jobs were handed out to those in favour, has distorted the relationship between the State and its people. This simply wouldn’t happen in a free economy.
But another way to look at it is to regard it as criminal extortion. There is clearly no ‘work’ to be done, so the salaries being demanded are essentially just protection money — “pay us, or we close the place down“. Giving in to these demands would lead to more of the same.
No country can allow itself to be held to ransom in this way.