Lebanon Daily News Brief 1/21/2022

Friday, January 21, 2022


Cabinet Meeting to Be Held Monday Morning
According to the National News Agency, the Cabinet will convene at 9 AM on Monday morning in its first session since October of last year. Among the 56 items on the agenda is the draft 2022 budget which will be discussed in the meeting. [NNA (Arabic)]


Finance Ministry Publishes Draft Budget
In preparation for Monday’s upcoming cabinet session, the Ministry of Finance published its draft 2022 budget. The budget anticipates a deficit of 10.26 trillion Lebanese Lira, based on a revenue estimation of LL39.15 trillion and expenditure figure of LL 49.42 trillion. The budget also includes an incentive exempting depositors bringing foreign money into the country from taxes for five years, among other proposals. [L’Orient Today]
Click Here to Read the Full Budget Draft [Arabic]


Treasury Announces Additional Sanctions on Hezbollah-Affiliates
Today the US Department of Treasury sanctioned two Hezbollah-affiliated ‘financial facilitators’, Adnan Ayad as well as Adel Diab in addition to members of an international network of their affiliates and related companies that are present in Lebanon, Germany, and Zambia. [Department of Treasury] As Joseph Haboush writes, “Friday’s move comes just days after three other men and their Lebanon-based travel company were designated for facilitating and laundering finances to Hezbollah.” [Al Arabiya News]



Lebanon Continues To Be Plagued By Conspiracies
Jean AbiNader

AbiNader writes, “Opposition figures were quick to challenge Amal and Hezbollah’s sudden awakening to their national responsibilities. The original cause of the boycott was their opposition to the investigation over the Beirut Port explosion, which has yet to be completed. The trade-off that seems to be swirling around their latest move prioritized the re-emergence in the cabinet over their campaign of postponing the investigation . . . the elections are the opportunity to change the face of Lebanese politics by reducing the number of MPs in the Amal-Hezbollah alliance. This outcome would give the opposition the necessary votes to reduce corruption, limit the impact of the Amal-Hezbollah alliance on government policies, and secure a reform agenda to redirect Lebanon’s resources and policies toward reconstruction and stability, and away from sectarianism and corruption.” 

Read More Here


Kulluna Irada
Open Letter to the IMF: Kulluna Irada’s Ten Principles for Lebanon’s Recovery

Kulluna Irada writes, “As the ruling elite faces a destabilizing crisis, its imminent priority is to perpetuate itself, buy time ahead of key electoral milestones, evade accountability, and avoid assuming losses. These same urgencies are guiding its negotiations, and a possible commitment, with the Fund. Instead, priorities should be set to reverse the severe social hemorrhage, ensure equitable loss distribution, and guarantee sustainable economic recovery. As such, the upcoming discussions bear great responsibility for the IMF, whose intervention in the Lebanese crisis will go in the annals of history, and should not, by any means, contribute to further build-up of odious debt and the perpetuation of an illegitimate regime, particularly ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections.”
Read More Here



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.