Lebanon Daily News 8/12/2021

Thursday, August 12, 2021


Protests Follow Central Bank Governor’s Decision to End Fuel Subsidies
After yesterday’s announcement by Lebanon’s central bank governor that fuel prices would no longer be subsidized, protests erupted across the country and people began panic buying fuel at gas stations. [The 961] Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab called the Riad Salameh’s decision illegal and called for an emergency Cabinet meeting. [AP] A law surrounding the use of the bank’s mandatory reserves for fuel subsidies will reportedly be discussed at this meeting. [Reuters] President Michel Aoun held a meeting this morning with Salameh and the caretaker ministers of energy and finance where Salameh refused to reverse his decision. [Naharnet]

Parliamentary Session on Beirut Port Investigation Adjourned
Earlier this week Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri scheduled a session to discuss the Beirut Port investigation and three MPs that were charged. The session was forced to adjourn today however due to lack of attendance. Only 39 MPs showed up which was not enough to make quorum. Protesters say they will continue even with the session canceled and said they “will not grow tired until the immunities are lifted.” [Naharnet]

Miqati and Aoun Meet With No Major Progress to Report
Prime Minister-designate Nijab Miqati and President Michel Aoun met for the seventh time yesterday to discuss the cabinet line-up, but they did not appear to make any major progress. [The Daily Star] Aoun has proposed a reshuffle of four key ministries, which would result in control of the interior and justice portfolios. [The Daily Star] Miqati recently stressed that he “will not form a government that is similar to the previous ones.” [Naharnet]


Lebanon – Caught In a Snare of Its Own Making
Jean AbiNader

AbiNader writes, “Are you still waiting to hear some positive political news about Lebanon? It’s clear that the humanitarian, medical, social, and economic news is all bad and getting worse. There are no updates yet from PM-designate Najib Mikati, tasked with producing the latest version of a government to be approved by his peers in the political oligarchy. Is no news good or bad?…There really is no hiding from these realities but the political oligarchy is doing its best. What a horrific year since the Beirut Port blast, the economic collapse, Covid, and emigration of the professional and skilled workforce. The people are speaking, from October 17, 2019 until today; their entreaties are being ignored. How much longer can the catastrophe be avoided?”

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the American Task Force on Lebanon, a non-profit, nonpartisan leadership organization of Lebanese-Americans.