Samir Geagea, Lebanese Forces (LF) party leader, on Tuesday said the logic being put forward today which aims to dipping into the Lebanese Central Bank’s mandatory currency reserves “is totally rejected from us and we will continue our movement against it.”
“Mandatory reserves are ‘Waqf’ money available in the Central Bank as a trust, and no one has the right to touch it,” Geagea said following his meeting with a delegation of the “Cry of Depositors” association.
“Mandatory reserves are paramount, not because they constitute 15% of the depositors’ funds, i.e. all the Lebanese, but because it is the only stock left if the banking system wanted to bounce back,” he said.
“Based on this, we absolutely reject any attempts to touch them and we will continue to raise our voice and make all necessary contacts so that no one in the State, in the Central Bank, in the Ministry of Finance or in the government would even think of touching them.”
Geagea also reiterated his call for “all depositors to file lawsuits for provisional seizure of the mandatory reserves to prevent anyone from touching them,” adding “a team of lawyers is ready to assist whomever wishes to file such a lawsuit and needs legal advice in this regard.”
On May 28, Geagea said “the ruling class has started suggesting that the Lebanese would not get any medicine or medical supplies unless the mandatory reserves are disbursed, which was also suggested regarding the electricity issue when it said: you either go into darkness or we use the reserves.”
“This ruling class cannot be contended with being an oppressive, corrupt and failed authority, but also insists on being impudent, immoral and a robber to the maximum, because it is a crime to keep the citizens afraid of the worst-case scenario.”
“Medicine and medical supplies are the state’s responsibility, not that of the poor citizen who had deposited the money he worked hard to gain with the banks so he may be able to spend it when he’s old and educate his children.”
The Central Bank (BDL) had said a system for importing subsidized medical goods could not be sustained without using its mandatory reserves and asked the relevant authorities to find a solution to the problem.