Lebanon Daily News Brief 9/10/2021

Friday, September 10, 2021


Lebanon Announces a New 24-Minister Cabinet
After 13 months of political deadlock, Lebanon announced a new government under Prime Minister Nijab Miqati. Earlier today Miqati said through tears that the government will work to stop the country’s economic collapse and will soon launch a rescue plan. [AP] Lebanese media outlets circulated the new 24-minister cabinet lineup as announced today by the secretary general of the council of ministers. [Naharnet]

Lebanese Pound Rises Upon Government Announcement
The Lebanese pound began rising today after the announcement of Prime Minister Miqati’s new government. The pound hit a record low after Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri’s resignation in July at LL23,000 to the dollar. This week it fluctuated around LL18,000-19,000 and today was sold on the black market at LL17,000 to the dollar. [The 961]

Caretaker Energy Minister Briefs Aoun on Gas Import Project
Yesterday President Michel Aoun met with Lebanon’s caretaker Minister of Energy to review the talks the minister held in Amman surrounding the plan to import gas from Egypt and electricity from Jordan through Syria. Pipelines and electricity lines in Syria still need to repairs from the damage caused by civil war. Lebanon is working with the World Bank to secure financing for the project. [Naharnet]


Time to Show Up for Work
Jean AbiNader

AbiNader writes, “With so much at stake, there are many good wishes for Miqati’s success, if the new cabinet is committed to implement change in the right directions. Perhaps two banners might be helpful in focusing the government’s efforts. I would suggest the first being “Time to Show up for Work,” indicating the resolve of the new government to move towards higher standards of accountability in its performance, beginning with electricity, telecommunications, and port reforms that will attract foreign investment into the country and support tourism. Ensuring that the municipal and parliamentary elections take place as scheduled will be a key marker of their commitment. Dealing with the inadequacies of the subsidy regime, by its elimination and replacement with a World Bank monitored cash card system, will pave the way to restore liquidity to the economy and create conditions for a currency board or other facility to reinvigorate the value of the Lebanese lira. None of these are simple, but the legislative and policy guidelines are already in place or accessible to move quickly if there is a will and a commitment to show up for work.”

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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.