| 25 February 2024, Sunday |

A financial mechanism to secure continuity of public services instead of $11 billion in support

Political officials and rulers have lost a lot of opportunities lately, but losing the $11 billion would be one of the most important opportunities they would waste. This budget was allocated for infrastructure and construction projects in Lebanon, however, supporters are settling instead a financial mechanism to continue providing public services.

How does this happened?

French President Emmanuel Macron revealed that he is working with international partners in order to set a financial mechanism that ensures persisting major public services for Lebanese.”

What does this mean?

According to French diplomatic sources this means fulfilling the basic needs of the ministries and public administrations, such as stationary and office supplies as well as power generators, in order to continue performing business.

The French sources added: “For the French President to talk about such minor details, this means that the country have reached total collapse.”

Just a reminder for those who forgot, President Macron has visited Lebanon post the explosion, ten months ago, and announced that an international conference will be held to support Lebanon, and provide $11 billion in loans and grants, under the condition of forming a government that puts within six months the roadmap for reforms.

Macron returned to Lebanon without seeing any progress from political officials regarding the government formation, so he focused on civil society and their revolution, carrying a clear message to politicians. He also set a date for a third visit, hoping that the government would be formed. The date Macron has set was mid December, considering that government would be a “holiday gift” for the Lebanese.

Two factors have led to cancelling the third visit, which is Macron’s infection with the Covid-19, and the officials’ failure in achieving any progress in government formation.

This has raised anger among French, and drove the Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, to use “non-diplomatic” expressions to describe the Lebanese political class, hoping that they would regret, but even “indolence” did not make them retreat. Le Drian waved imposing Sanctions on officials, but nothing deterred them.

According to diplomatic sources, the Elysee Palace has decided to support Lebanese without going through the official authorities. For this reason, it decided to work with international partners to set a financial mechanism that guarantees the continuity of public services in Lebanon.

The French initiative will be on two levels according to diplomatic sources, mainly for public administrations and for the Lebanese army. Paris will hold a conference on June 17, to study the army’s needs and discuss the supportive measures.

France have withdrew its promise, after ten months of announcing its initiative, but rather it will limit its support to public administrations and army forces. This French retreat would not have happened, if the politicians had not been unresponsive.

  • Sawt Beirut International