Libya to pay half of 150mln owed to Greece for care of fighters

The Libyan government will settle half or the 150-million-euro bill for the care of rebel fighters in Greece and will only release the remainder of the money once it is satisfied there has not been any over-charging, according to the country?s charge d?affaires in Athens.

Greek and Libyan authorities have been in negotiations over the last two months about the payment of the outstanding amount, which covers the costs of hospitals, hotels, travel agencies and other services.

?We recognize debts of about 150 million euros towards various bodies, hospitals, hotels and two travel agencies that took part in the program,? Usama Eleyan, the charge d?affaires at the Libyan Embassy told the Athens News Agency.

?Some 5,500 wounded were treated in Greece through this program. Today, there are between 350 and 500 wounded left in Greece. We are sure that the money will be released soon so everyone can be paid.?

Eleyan suggested that a panel appointed by the National Transition Council Libya would visit Greece to check the paperwork for the care provided to the injured soldiers before the remainder of the money is released.

In May, Kathimerini reported that Greek hospitals were owed about 20 million euros for the treatment they provided. Bills had not been paid since last November, when the new Libyan government took over responsibility for paying the hospital bills. Until then, the costs had been paid by Qatar.

The arrival of the Libyan fighters helped private hospitals, which saw patient turnover drop by about 15 percent as a result of the crisis. Hospitals were to receive between 15,000 and 30,000 euros for the treatment of each patient.

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