Lebanon Daily News Brief 03/22/2022

Tuesday, March 22, 2022


Lebanon Prepares Counter-Offer on Maritime Border
According L’Orient Today, “the meeting between the three officials [President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Najib Mikati, and Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri] resulted in an agreement to make a counter-offer. ‘The objective is to improve the conditions of the agreement so that Lebanon gets all the disputed 860 square kilometers,’ said a source familiar with the matter. ‘We think it is possible to claim all of Line 23 and to ensure that the Qana field is entirely on our side of the border,’ confirmed a source close to the president.” [L’Orient Today]

Fransabank: Court Accepts Appeal, Some Vaults Unsealed
An appeals court rescinded the ruling of Judge Mariana Anani, who issued the order to freeze the assets of Fransabank. The bank also stated that it would file another appeal to get more of its vaults unsealed. Fransabank also said that it would fill up ATM machines with cash from vaults that had not been sealed to meet customer needs, while appealing to have the seals lifted from the others. [Reuters]



Lebanon’s Elections: Who’s In And Who’s Out?

Jean AbiNader

AbiNader writes, “Lebanon’s politicians speak volumes of their intentions, yet all they have to show for it is their mastery of procrastination, denial, thuggery, abstentions, and other tactics from their corruption toolkit, ensuring that any threats to their priorities are mitigated. As Ibrahim Johari has documented, there are significant obstacles imposed on new entrants to politics as well as to voters, themselves. The Arab News article observes that less than half of all registered candidates survive to get on a ballot, being unable to find a list that will include them. Although in some districts the election regulations do allow for both individual and list-based voting, independent candidates without more unified backing ultimately face an arduous challenge . . . With the registrations now complete, emerging questions are increasingly concerned with the possibility of the election‘s postponement should Hezbollah, Amal, and the Free Patriotic Movement come to the conclusion that their alliance will lose its majority position in Parliament after May 15th.”

Read More Here

Al Monitor
Lebanese Turn To Cryptocurrency As Economy Tanks

Rodayna Raydan

Raydan writes, “Beyond offering financial independence, cryptocurrencies are bringing the much-needed foreign currency to the cash-strapped people in Lebanon. Due to the unregulated nature of this sector, economists in the country fear a new and desperate generation of bitcoin mining and trading addicts will emerge and may turn extreme in investments. Rami Shmeit, an economic analyst, told Al-Monitor more about the risks in the cryptocurrency market, especially in Lebanon, given that many are taking advantage of people’s desperation to earn foreign currency from bitcoin mining and trading. ‘I know guys who have sold their cars, jewelry and home furniture, and many have quit the Lebanese army to invest their money and time in mining despite lacking the much crucial knowledge needed in this sector,’ said Shmeit.”

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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.