Lebanon Daily News Brief 03/28/2022

Monday, March 28, 2022


Capitol Control Law Discussed in Parliament, Vote Tomorrow
In the aftermath of the recent visit from an IMF delegation to Lebanon, parliamentary committees today discussed a draft capitol control law that would be voted on in tomorrow’s session of Parliament. According to Reuters, “The latest draft returns to parliament amid escalating tussles between some judges and banks, seven of which have had their assets frozen by judicial orders this month in three separate actions.” [Reuters]

Central Bank Governor Named Suspect in International Money-Laundering Probe
Led by authorities in France, Germany, and Luxembourg, a joint money-laundering probe named Lebanese Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh as a suspect -one of five- in the alleged embezzlement of $330 million. Assets worth a total of 
120 million were frozen as part of the same investigation. [Bloomberg]

PM Offers Hopeful Remarks on IMF Deal
In remarks delivered at the Doha Forum, Prime Minister Najib Mikati said, “Negotiations between Lebanon and the IMF are continuing, and next Tuesday a mission headed by the IMF president will begin a visit to Lebanon to complete the negotiations, and we hope that after the new two-week round of negotiations, a preliminary agreement will be signed between Lebanon and the IMF.” [L’Orient Today]



Lebanon Needs International Support For Judicial Reform

Adnan Nasser

Nasser writes, “The United States is a traditional ally of Lebanon and should continue to more forcefully prioritize independence of the judiciary as a key anti-corruption reform upon which additional aid can be unlocked. Recently the Biden Administration and Congress increased aid to Lebanon’s ailing economy and security forces to help their families survive the pandemic. All of this is welcome and can help bring more stability to Lebanon in preparation for the May election. However,  future aid should be predicated on guaranteeing the safety and freedom of judges to conduct their work without intimidation. Lebanon’s failing democracy can be rescued, not simply by the power of voters, but by the confidence of its judiciary’s independence.”

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This Lebanese University Is Bringing Older People Back To Class

Currently, Lebanon has the fastest growing proportion of senior citizens compared to any other country in the Arab world. As of 2021, 11% of its population was over the age of 65, according to Lebanon’s Ministry of Social Affairs. By 2050, that number is set to increase to 23%, making it a super-aged population by UN standards. ‘We have a very high emigration rate in Lebanon. Lebanese youth leaving the country and older Lebanese adults returning to their home country to retire in Lebanon,’ said Maya Abi Chahine, UfS’s program manager. ‘[Seniors] find themselves kind of alone. And the city and the country doesn’t really offer engaging opportunities.’ The University for Seniors is for students age 50 and up and, although UfS does not award degrees, the program offers a variety of lectures and courses, covering topics ranging from Neuroscience to Arabic Literature to cryptocurrency.

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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.