Lebanon Daily News Brief 8/30/2021
Fuel Dispute Leads to Clashes in Southern Lebanon
The Lebanese army was deployed to southern Lebanon over the weekend after a fuel dispute erupted between Shia and Christian villages of Maghdouche and Ankoun. Around six people were wounded. Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri denied accusations of Amal’s involvement in the incident. [Reuters] The area is reportedly calm today after the army’s intervention. [Naharnet]
Nasrallah Announces Third Fuel Shipment From Iran
On Friday Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah announced in a speech that the group has agreed to a third vessel of fuel from Iran. The first vessel of Iranian fuel that was said to have already departed has yet to reach Lebanon, but Nasrallah suggested it would arrive in the coming days. Prime Minister-designate Nijab Miqati said he was against the move, but also asked for help so that Lebanon would not have to resort to fuel deals with Iran. [Al Jazeera]
Miqati’s Government Formation Deadline Expires
Prime Minister-designate Nijab Miqati reached the deadline he set for himself to form a government at the end of last week. Sources say he is ready to resign as early as Wednesday if obstacles to forming a cabinet cannot be resolved. Miqati and President Michel Aoun continue to differ over cabinet assignments for key ministries. [The Daily Star] The prime minister-designate is reportedly waiting for further pressure from France to push Aoun towards agreement. [Naharnet]
OPINION & ANALYSIS
Do You Believe in Miracles? Lebanon Needs a Basketful
AbiNader writes, “Pray for a miracle, of course. Or a basketful, starting with increasing bank liquidity without greater inflation. Instituting cash cards would enable more Lebanese to purchase basic goods. Ending the current subsidies regime would remove pricing distortions. Repairing the loss of morale and living standards of the LAF and ISF troops along with their recommitment to protecting civil and human rights. Steps should be taken to curb corruption and recapture funds illegally transferred out of the country. Political reforms are also needed to diminish the power of the ruling elites, while banking reforms should be aimed at consolidation and transparency. Not to mention free and fair elections in 2022. These would make a great start.”
LCPS Podcast Alternative Frequencies
Can Lebanon’s Banks Survive the Financial Crisis? What Would a Rescue Plane Look Like?
How did Lebanese banks go from being the crown jewel of the economy to become what is being referred to as “zombie banks”? Can the sector recover on its own or does it need a complete overhaul? And, most importantly, what is the fate of the billions of dollars in deposits? Join Jean Riachi, the founder and CEO of FFA Private Bank, as he explains to Alternative Frequencies host Bilal El-Amine how the banking sector collapsed and what it will take to save it.
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.