Lebanon Daily News Brief 04/21/2022

Thursday, April 21, 2022


Information Minister: Adoption of Economic Recovery Plan Expected Before May 15th Elections
Information Minister Ziad Makari said, “it is expected that the economic recovery plan will be adopted before the parliamentary elections because time is running out.” L’Orient Today reports that, “Parliamentary committees met yesterday to discuss a recent draft of a capital control law. Angry demonstrations were taking place near Parliament where the law was discussed at the same time in protest of the new version of the capital control law. Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri scheduled a new meeting for the parliamentary committees next Tuesday to discuss the capital control law.” [L’Orient Today]

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Mount Lebanon Judge Orders Seizure of Raja Salameh’s Assets
First investigating judge in the Mount Lebanon Court of Appeals, Judge Nicolas Mansour, ordered the seizure of the assets of Raja Salameh, brother to Central Bank Governor, Riad. This ruling follows Raja’s arrest and subsequent release on a LBP 200 million bail, reduced from the original value which was set at LBP 500 million. [Naharnet]

Chilean Police, Interpol Detain Portuguese National in Connection with Port of Beirut Explosion
According to Reuters, “A Portuguese man is set to face an extradition hearing in Madrid over allegations he was involved in the devastating 2020 port explosion in Beirut, authorities said on Thursday . . . He appeared before a Madrid high court judge on Wednesday and was released on bail while he awaits an extradition hearing. Lebanon’s justice minister Henry Khoury did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether Lebanon would seek the man’s extradition.” [Reuters]



What’s In It For Lebanon – The IMF Staff Level Agreement
Jean AbiNader

AbiNader writes, “For many in Lebanon, the announcement of the staff-level agreement with the IMF on April 7, prompted rather short-lived sighs of relief. That may be because certain actions are still required before any money flows at this level of agreement, and because the many challenges to its implementation have become clearer only days after the announcement on April 7. Sisyphus had it easy, one could say, in comparison to the anticipated obstructions that the agreement faces including the May 15th elections, as there are limits to what can get accomplished in the few weeks and three holidays between now and the opening of the polls. In particular, the formation of a new Council of Ministers within five months, the election of a president by the new government, and an agreement on a parliamentary agenda must all take place before any reforms can seriously happen.”

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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.