Financial files awaiting the Lebanese government under international scrutiny

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati (Hussein Beydoun)

Najib Mikati, the designated Lebanese prime minister, today, Tuesday, will end the non-binding authorship consultations with independent representatives and parliamentary blocs, to begin work on a government formula he will present to President Michel Aoun, in the hope of signing it in a to get political atmosphere. it does not bode well for a smooth road, given the conditions of ministerial quotas imposed by the parties, except in the case of a rapid settlement in the light of the stressful economic climate associated with international monitoring, especially by the International Monetary Fund.

A source close to Mikati confirms to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the incumbent president is seeking to form a government as soon as possible and hopes that the formula he will submit if President Aoun receives his signature to follow up on economic files and be able to make decisions in a natural way, as it is not permissible for the country to stay in a business case.

However, the source emphasizes on the other hand that in the event of obstruction, Mikati will not remain as a spectator or waiter, as his current government has already accomplished much and must complete what it started from files and plans, and will not succumb to the narrow meaning of business conduct. .

The source points out that “Mikati gives priority to the financial files and is aware of the difficulty of the stage and the hard decisions that need to be made and that must be taken so that they can no longer tolerate delays and delays, including customs Steps that require the state to have funds, and we all know its financial situation, which requires the imposition of fees, provided it is well thought out.

And at a time when there are many scenarios that Mikati can resort to at the level of the government formula he will offer, including keeping old faces in the new government, especially for ministers who keep files that require follow-up from the same team, and his focus on the Ministry of Energy, where he was not satisfied with the way Minister Walid Fayyad used the administration.This is one of the government’s dilemmas, and in light of the adherence to the Free Patriotic Movement led by representative Gebran Bassil to it. , international attention remains focused on Lebanon, albeit at a slower pace.

A French diplomatic source told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that “France is watching the Lebanese developments and stressing the importance of forming a government in a fast-paced time, because time is not in Lebanon’s interest, and “Politicians must give priority to the socio-economic issue, the handling of which has not yet met the responsibility and the required level given the social disaster that the Lebanese people are attacking.”

He stressed that “what Lebanon pulls out is direct financial support to the state, which will not happen until a real reform workshop is set up, and it requires political and security stability and efficient and working institutions that are not crippled.”

In this context, the Executive Director of the “Kuluna Irada” organization (which defines itself as an organization committed to political reform in Lebanon), Diana Menem, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the most prominent economic files At government level, it can be identified according to priorities based on the agreement signed with the International Monetary Fund. At the expert level, the initial agreement identified a set of reforms called the initial measures to be taken by the Lebanese state before the program with the IMF. be contracted.

Among these precautionary measures that the executive and legislative authorities must work on, Menem refers to “the adoption of the 2022 budget, the abolition of banking secrecy, the adoption of the Capital Control Act, which requires amendments, in parallel with the adoption of the Banking Restructuring Act, which is the cornerstone of all reforms is because it determines the party who bears the losses, and these laws also require that amendments be made before they are approved. ”

Menem warned that Lebanon does not have the luxury of time, especially in the face of changing economic data, so that if we reach the end of next September without taking any serious steps at the level of the aforementioned laws, there will be a major possibility is to resume talks with the International Monetary Fund to point zero, and then to reconsider the initial agreement reached, especially as the Fund may in this case feel that Lebanese officials have no serious intention of resolving the crisis or deal with the points discussed. and identified.

The Executive Director of “We are all Irada” believes that the ball is in Parliament’s court, which could move many laws if the political intention is found to do so, regardless of the government’s situation and whether it is under a is a business matter, and it must hold intensive and exceptional sessions to pass laws in light of the emergency economic conditions the country is going through and the urgent need to expedite the adoption of laws.

Menem stops at the plan of Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government, which was approved on the last day before taking the stage of business, and in which it laid down broad general principles for the distribution of losses, but this was absent in the details of distribution. and numbers in light of the internal disagreement in the form of this plan.

Monem says, it would have been more useful to be under a new government that is different in the way of trade and does not constitute a symbol of authority, but in the matter of the economic plan, regardless of the form of government, the political forces determine whether they go with it or not, hence the need for pressure on these forces to adopt a just and comprehensive plan.

In turn, the coordinator of the legal committee at the People’s Observatory (a political law group dealing with public affairs), lawyer Jad Tohme, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that “Mikati’s government was supposed to end the crisis of paralysis and the unprecedented economic collapse that has hit the country since 2019. Although the challenges are great, over the course of all this long period, he has been able to do nothing to contain the crisis. ”

He added, “Mikati was reappointed at a time of his government’s achievements that more than 80 percent of Lebanese have fallen below the poverty line, and we have seen an unprecedented rise in the prices of food, basic commodities, fuel and the most seen. services at the level of all sectors, and the crisis of medicine, which is still cut off, has intensified. means, and the great catastrophe lies in the lack of any solution for depositors’ money held in banks.

Tohme points out that “even at the level of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, the government has not been successful, has not gained the confidence of the international community or in terms of the stability of the national currency, and has not been able to to the black market that controlled the exchange rate of the dollar and did not fight inflation rates or stop the bleeding What happened in the reserves of the Banque du Liban for foreign exchange, and there was no criminal audit, or any progress at the level of the crime not of the explosion of the port of Beirut, all in the light of the continuation of the system based on quotas among the members of the political club.

Tohme points out that “the greatest pain that history cannot forgive and rise to the rank of high treason remains to compromise Lebanon’s maritime borders despite all the legal and technical data confirming the country’s rights and territories,” without amending Resolution 6433, which corrects Lebanon’s right, borders and grants it large territories to which he has a right and not to send it to the relevant departments of the United Nations, which will cause him to exercise his rights in the controversial economic zone, which is estimated at about $ 40 billion. ”

Since its inception on September 10, and before it was appointed for the fourth time and entered into business, the Mikati government has seen a lifting of subsidies on most commodities, including fuel and medicine, with “shy” exceptions, and has an unprecedented rise in the dollar exchange rate that has exceeded the 37,000 pound threshold, except for These months were marked by dollar prices at the level of all sectors and services in the face of widespread chaos and ‘ a blatant absence of regulatory agencies, as well as a flight of fuel prices and an exacerbation of the wheat, bread, hospitalization and medicine crises, a public sector wage crisis, and many other crises besides the recent tariff increases The internet and communications, which will rise twice as much as before, at the beginning of next July.

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