| 29 May 2024, Wednesday |

Ralph Tarraf: Central Bank has all the data on money that was smuggled from Lebanon

The Ambassador of the European Union to Lebanon, Ralph Tarraf, stressed that “we cannot impose the formation of a government in Lebanon, and even if we were able to do so, who could guarantee that this government would be able to meet and take decisions.”

He added, “A year or more ago, we knew that this crisis was coming, the situation did not change, but rather worsened. and The longer the decision to address the situation is delayed, the more painful it will be, and the crisis will be greater and will hit the most vulnerable social groups, and this should not happen.”

Once the legal framework is prepared, Tarraf said, “We will discuss the penalties for some names and we will move to implementation, there is also a great discussion about political reforms, and the necessity of amending or implementing the Taif Agreement in whole or in part, its the matter of the Lebanese, but today there is a big obstacle standing in the way of forming a government, so the government formation period is very long and there are no deadlines for that, and I don’t know if that happens in any country in the world. The system in Lebanon is difficult, but we will discuss at a later stage how to form the government, whether a government of technocrats or national unity. This is a secondary matter for us, but what everyone agrees on is that the government would be able to make decisions.”

He stressed that Lebanon “is going through a big changing stage, and the issue is not related to changing some faces and people.” Pointing out that “the economic system is based on the societal system and the political system as well. These dysfunctional systems strengthen each other, and we, as foreigners, we do not do social engineering, neither political engineering.”

Tarraf considered that “it is very difficult to raise the support, but the support is necessary. We know that this distribution will be a disaster for the Lebanese, but the system must be logical in the matter of lifting the support, and raising the support is necessary today because there is no longer a reserve.” He asks, “Is it necessary that the Lebanese hunger and poverty increase to the point that they can no longer bear the lifting of subsidies?

He stressed, “We are ready to support any sustainable and capable structure, but we did not witness any discussion  about imposing taxes and about returning the money that was taken out of Lebanon, the Central Bank owns all the data of the money that was smuggled.

Tarraf pointed out that “we do not think about helping the people for two or three months, but rather we think beyond that.” He added, “We know that the presence of a huge number of refugees in any country puts pressure on the infrastructure and the economy. We expressed our commitment to help Lebanon to pass this crisis, we do not know how and till When will it continue, and we hope that the situation in Syria will get better in a way that enables the refugees to return to their country.”

  • Sawt Beirut International