Washington Post:”Syria is ready to court investors, but Europe wants to prevent that”
As Syria courts investors to rebuild its war-shattered cities, it may find a fresh round of European sanctions standing in its way.
The European Union said Monday that it was adding 11 business executives, as well as five entities, to a growing list of Syrians whose material support for President Bashar al-Assad’s war effort has resulted in travel bans, asset freezes and an end of business activities in Europe.
The types of penalties may not be new, but the logic is, and European diplomats said this week that they hope the sanctions will send a chilling effect through a business community that the Syrian government is now relying on to redevelop the country.
The targeted men are magnates. As investors and developers, they have business interests that span industries ranging from soap operas to sugar and steel. But for the most part, they are linked through their involvement in a new economic frontier with significant implications for Syria’s future: luxury real estate on expropriated land.