Lebanon Daily News Brief 6/17/2021

Thursday, June 17, 2021


Shops, Government Offices, and Banks Go on Strike
Today Lebanon’s General Labor Union called for a strike in protest of the country’s dire conditions and delayed cabinet formation. The union called on “‘economic bodies, merchant organizations, and the Association of Banks in Lebanon” to allow employees to participate in the strike. [Naharnet] Shops, government offices, and banks followed the request and closed their doors today to accommodate the protest. Several roadblocks were set up around Beirut and other cities. Ironically, the political parties that are blamed for delayed government formation showed their support for the protest, drawing criticism from activists. [Washington Post]

Central Bank Statement on Subsidies and Fuel Shortages
In a statement yesterday Lebanon’s central bank called on the caretaker government to approve a plan to ration subsidies targeted toward people in need. It added that it would not use mandatory reserves to fund subsidies, also noting that the system for importing subsidized medical goods could not be sustained. In regards to fuel shortages, the Banque Du Liban said that it has paid banks to open up credits for fuel imports. [Reuters]

General Joseph Aoun to Visit the United States and United Kingdom
Amid concerns of the Lebanese Armed Forces worsening situation while Lebanon faces financial collapse, General Joseph Aoun is expected to travel to the United States and the United Kingdom to garner humanitarian and logistical support for the army. [Naharnet] Today France is holding a virtual meeting to raise tens of millions of dollars in emergency aid for the army. [Reuters]


The Lebanese Center for Policy Studies
Lebanon’s Emerging Opposition: From COVID-19 to the 2022 Elections

LCPS writes: “With the country’s ruling parties entrenched in state institutions, having amassed significant financial and social capital through clientelistic networks, Lebanon’s budding opposition will no doubt face major obstacles. And whether prioritizing the 2022 elections is a viable and effective tool for structural change is a debate that appears to be nowhere near resolved. However, one thing independent political parities and groups all agree on is that they need to develop their programs, expand their membership base, and build formidable coalitions based on clear policy positions.”

ٍRead more here

Carnegie Middle East Center
A Military Lifeline
Michael Young interviews Aram Nerguzian

Nerguzian says: “What matters is that the LAF is losing quality officers and noncommissioned officers, the gray matter and capabilities the institution has spent more than a decade and a half developing. If this continues and there are no means of retaining critical talent and capabilities, it signals the entropy and possible decline of what has become one of the Arab world’s most capable militaries. Such a decline could be a harbinger of the kinds of instability not seen since the last time Lebanon’s political elites gutted or set adrift the LAF, namely in the five years leading up to the 1975-1990 civil war.”

ٍ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.