Libya's future after Colonel Gaddafi is becoming clearer. The final results of Saturday's election may not be known for several days, but the liberal-leaning National Forces Alliance seems to have a lead. 130 parties fought for 80 seats and 2,500 individuals contested the other 120, so much will depend on how the independents vote in parliament. Some feel change could have come sooner. This democracy could have been established in Libya a long, long time ago if it were not for the hypocrisy of the leaders of the European Union who really supported Gaddafi for years and years. The European Central Bank has cut its base rate to 0.75% and its deposit rate to zero, leaving it low on ammunition in its fight to save the euro, short of buying government debt. But a solution must be found. We've got to do something that brings down the cost of borrowing in Italy and Spain without always having recourse to the ESM underwriting it all, so I think we're still looking for that mechanism. Indicators for the second quarter of 2012 point to a weakening of growth and heightened uncertainty. But looking ahead, we continue to expect the euro area economy to recover gradually, albeit with dampened momentum. Almost a thousand offshore installations in the EU account for more than 90% of Europe's oil and 60% of its gas. After the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the European Commission proposed new rules for EU waters. Many operators and unions oppose them, fearing they're a backward step. A workshop in Brussels raised the issue, prior to discussion by the EP's Research and Energy Committee.
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