Beirut, Weekly Report # 3, February 7th, 2020

by Yves

Most of news of this week are linked to the incoming statement of the government on its political program. It should be presented to the parliament next Thursday after being approved by the council of minister on Tuesday. From what has unofficially perspired to some of the journalists, it would focus on economic issues with intentions of recapitalization of banks and lowering of tax interests. It should also announce a series of reform between 100 days and three years mentioning “painful measures” from a “government independent from the political pressure” adding “the claims of the Hirak (uprising ) are not only legitimate but are also at the heart of our plan”. It should also show the willingness of the government to “push away the country of the external fights” “while fully promoting the full territorial independence of Lebanon including with the recovery of the Shebaa farm, the hills of Kfar Shouba and the Lebanese part of Ghajar village”. However, the current government has not been approved by the parliament yet. The current government is “launching itself on an independent foreign policy based on the superior interests of Lebanon and the respect of the international law” still in the draft of the ministerial statement. To reassure the international community and the CEDRE donors (friends of Lebanon), the prime minister has met some of the ambassadors of the European Union on Thursday. So far, the press seems to feel that this document will be more wishful thinking than anything else as it is looking for the support of western and Arab countries and nothing has been forthcoming yet. On the other hand, the press has also been focussing on what is happening in Syria and the recent clashes between the Syrian government forces and the Turkish troops in Idleb. Including the head of the delegation Ralph Tarraf. On Friday, the catholic archbishops headed by Maronite head Bechara Rai will be meeting Pope François in Rome.