Lebanon Daily News Brief 04/22/2022

Friday, April 22, 2022


Minister of Economy and Trade Signs Final Report in Negotiations with World Bank
According to L’Orient Today, “After finalizing a round of negotiations with the World Bank, Economy Minister Amin Salam signed a final report required to draft a law accepting an emergency loan of $150 million meant for the purchase of wheat, Salam announced Friday.” [L’Orient Today]

France Issues Arrest Warrant for Carlos Ghosn
According to a French prosecutor’s office, an arrest warrant has been issued for Carlos Ghosn, the former head of Nissan and Renault, as well as for four other people based on a 2019 investigation examining allegations of money laundering and abuse of company assets. In addition to being a Lebanese citizen, Ghosn is also a citizen of France. [AP News]

Minister of Foreign Affairs: Main Obstacle to Expatriate Voting Is ‘Obtaining Cash’ for Polling Staff
On Wednesday Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants Abdallah Bou Habib commented on the obstacles to the voting process in the upcoming parliamentary elections for voters in the diaspora. According to L’Orient Today, “in a press briefing after meeting with Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Interior Minister Basssam Mawlawi, Bou Habib said that globally ‘we need 2,200 delegates, who will have to be paid and trained’ to man the polling stations for expatriates. He also said that these people will have to be on duty from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m, and that some will also have to stay at the polling stations until the next day. Bou Habib voiced concerns about being able to fund these personnel, giving the example of Sydney, where such staff are paid 1,000 Australian dollars each. ‘We will try to overcome this obstacle,’ he added.” [L’Orient Today]



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.”

Read More Here

Al Monitor
Bicycling Movement Sweeps Lebanon 
Clement Gibon

Gibon writes, “As Lebanon is hit hard by a series of crises, fuel shortages aggravated by the Ukraine war have pushed many Lebanese to use bicycles as transportation . . . Faced with fuel shortages caused by the war in Ukraine, dozens of Lebanese drivers stuck in front of gas stations on Mar Mikhael Street wait impatiently to fill up their vehicles — a situation echoing last summer’s ‘queues of humiliation.’ As a consequence of the fuel shortage, many Lebanese have turned to bicycling — a less expensive and more environmentally friendly way of getting around.”

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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.