Gadaffi keeping one step ahead

To win the battle, you need to keep one step ahead.

So, enter the Colonel:

Gaddafi’s stronghold now is Tripoli, the capital and Libya’s western province. Here  the biggest threat to his hold on power has not been the  rebels, but public anger at a shortage of food and fuel.

His administration has been getting to grips with that problem. Every neighbourhood now has a state-run shop, known as “Government Consumer Societies,” which sell subsidised goods

These shops used to exist when Libya was run along socialist lines and were abolished soon after the reformist Shokri Ghanem, now Libya’s top oil official, was made prime minister in 2003. They have made a comeback.

“In normal shops one bottle of (cooking) oil is 4-5 Libyan dinars and in these kind of shops we buy one bottle for 60 cents,” the Tripoli resident said.

Fuel shortages, which had led to huge queues at petrol stations, are easing. The fuel distribution and retail system ground to a halt because it relied on low-paid foreign workers who had fled the country, and Libyans did not want to do their jobs.

“The authorities are working to increase the wages of the Libyans who are working in the petrol stations” he said.

As a result, queues at petrol stations have shrunk.

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