“The rush for Libyan oil” is already at full throttle, writes Die Presse. Contacts with the rebels to secure future contracts are mushrooming, the Vienna daily explains. While the anti-Gaddafi forces want to “punish Chinese companies for the inaction” of their government, the newspaper quotes a German entrepreneur who doesn’t fear the consequences of Berlin’s abstention in the UN vote authorising international intervention: “The Chancellor has sorted all this out already.”

Handelsblatt, on the contrary, thinks Germany’s position in the race for the “treasure of the Libyan oil” is under threat. For the German economic daily, Turkey, which has proposed $300 million in aid for the rebels, is “the winner of this stage.” Italy, “which built the well heads in Libya,” is well positioned, but Nicolas Sarkozy “will not accept” that France should make way for Italian companies. German industry won’t have an easy catch-up in this race, Handelsblatt continues, for by failing to back the rebels the German government has “spoiled the start”.