Lebanon Daily News Brief 1/25/2022

Tuesday, January 25, 2022


Lebanon’s Cabinet Reconvenes, Draft 2022 Budget Discussed
In the Cabinet’s second session since October 12th, discussions were held at the Grand Serail over the draft 2022 budget. [Naharnet] Although there were apparent disagreements, especially over proposed increases in taxes, the Cabinet plans to meet every day this week, in parallel with the official IMF negotiations. [L’Orient Today]


Deputy PM: IMF Talks Begin
Saadeh al-Shami, the Deputy Prime Minister, said that Monday’s initial round of talks with the International Monetary Fund focused on the budget, the banking sector, and the exchange rate. In a statement he said, We hope the negotiations will be concluded as soon as possible, but given the complexity of the issues, it is possible that other rounds will be held until we reach an agreement.” IMF Mission Chief for Lebanon, Ernesto Ramirez Rigo, is leading the team that is conducting these discussions with Lebanese officials. [Reuters


Jordanian and Syrian Energy Ministers to Meet in Beirut Tomorrow 
Tomorrow a signing ceremony between Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon will take place concerning a joint energy deal, led by Syrian Energy Minister Ghassan Al-Zamil, Jordanian Energy Minister Saleh al-Kharabsheh, and Lebanese Energy Minister Walid Fayad. According to L’Orient, “The first [agreement], between Lebanon and Jordan, is for the latter to supply electricity to Lebanon; and another agreement with both Jordan and Syria is for the energy to be transmitted via Syria to Lebanon.”  [L’Orient Today]



The World Bank
Lebanon’s Crisis: Great Denial in the Deliberate Depression
The World Bank writes, “The scale and scope of Lebanon’s deliberate depression are leading to the disintegration of key pillars of Lebanon’s post-civil war political economy. This is being manifested by a collapse of the most basic public services; persistent and debilitating internal political discord; and mass brain drain. Meanwhile, the poor and the middle class, who were never well served under this model in the first place, are carrying the main burden of the crisis. According to the World Bank Lebanon Economic Monitor (LEM) Fall 2021 ‘The Great Denial’, Lebanon’s deliberate depression is orchestrated by the country’s elite that has long captured the state and lived off its economic rents.  This capture persists despite the severity of the crisis -one of the top ten, possibly top three most severe economic collapses worldwide since the 1850s; it has come to threaten the country’s long-term stability and social peace. The country’s post-war economic development model which thrived on large capital inflows and international support in return for promises of reforms is bankrupt. In addition, the collapse is occurring in a highly unstable geo-political environment making the urgency of addressing the dire crisis even more pressing.”

Read More Here

Read the Fall 2021 Report 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.