Lebanon Daily News Brief 07/07/2022

Thursday, July 7, 2022
July 7th, 2022







UN Security Council Urges Swift Formation of Government
In a statement put forward by the United Nations Security Council, the multilateral body stressed the need for, “expediting the formation of a government to implement necessary reforms . . . [and for] all political actors to work together to prioritize the national interest and to rise to the challenges facing the Lebanese people.” [Al Arabiya English]




Parliamentary Committee Reviews Banking Secrecy Amendments, Capitol Control Law Discussed
According to L’Orient Today, “The Finance and Budget Committee began reviewing the government’s proposed amendments to the banking secrecy law on Thursday, with the committee’s head projecting that the review will be completed in 10 days. Also on Thursday, Deputy Parliament Speaker Elias Bou Saab held roundtable discussions with experts around the capital control draft law.” [L’Orient Today]




Nationwide Blackout Averted After Operator Partially Paid for Services
Yesterday, Lebanon’s state electricity company announced that the Zahrani and Deir Ammar power plants would shut down at 5pm because of unpaid debts to the plant’s operator, Primesouth. An hour after the electricity had been cut, EDL was informed by the Central Bank that the debts had partially been paid and subsequently instructed Primesouth to reinstate service to the Zahrani station. The Deir Ammar plant was set to reopen today at 2 PM. [The National]




Data Collection Underway in Audit of Central Bank
In a meeting between Lebanese President Michel Aoun and James Daniell, who is the managing director of the consultancy firm tasked with the forensic audit of Lebanon’s Central Bank, Alvarez and Marsal, it was publicized that the data collection process had already begun. [L’Orient Today]








Middle East Institute
Special Briefing: President Biden’s Trip To The Middle East

Paul Salem, Brian Katulis, Karen E. Young, Gerald M. Feierstein, Bilal Y. Saab, Alex Vatanka, Mirette F. Mabrouk, Khaled Elgindy, Eran Etzion, Mick Mulroy, Mohammed Mahmoud, Iulia-Sabina Joja, and John Calabrese

Paul Salem and Brian Katulis write, “A key objective for this trip is to send a signal that the United States remains committed to the region at a time of geopolitical uncertainty. President Joe Biden’s trip to the Middle East comes at another critical moment for this troubled, and troubling, region. Tensions between Iran on the one hand and Israel and a number of Arab Gulf countries on the other, stand at a crossroads between the possibility of a U.S. and Iranian return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the risk of a rapid escalation toward armed conflict.”

Read Full Briefing Here




The National
Lebanon’s Social Contract Has Collapsed, But Why Is There No Move To Revive It?

Michael Young

Young writes, “As Lebanon’s prime minister designate, Najib Mikati, tries to form a new government, most observers believe that his chances of doing so are very low. Partly that is because it may not be worth it since a presidential election is scheduled later this year and the government will have to resign once again. Therefore, Mr Mikati may simply prefer to keep his current caretaker government in place. But a more profound reason is that the prime minister designate doesn’t want to face the demands of the political parties and satisfy all sides. The reason for this is that Lebanon’s political system has become essentially ungovernable. The notion of sectarian compromise at its heart has become a justification for continuous obstructionism as each side tries to secure its interests. With the collapse of the economy that began in November 2019, followed by the complete immobility of the political class in introducing reforms to ameliorate the social and economic situation, one conclusion is inevitable: the system is utterly incapable of addressing Lebanon’s national challenges. In effect, the country’s social contract is dead.”






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.