Arab News Digest

News from the Arab World


NNA – Caretaker Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, received the president of the General Labor Confederation, Bechara Al-Asmar, heading a delegation that included: Hassan Fakih, Saadeddine Hamidi Sakr, Antoun Antoun, and Ali Taher Yassin, in the presence of PM Advisor, Hussein Kaafarani.

After the meeting, Al-Asmar made the following remarks:

« We were honored to visit PM Hassan Diab to confirm the agreements concluded in December about not lifting subsidies except in exchange for an alternative plan in the form of a rationing card. His Excellency assured us that there will be no lifting or rationalization of subsidies without an alternative plan, that is, a financing card that includes at least 750 000 Lebanese families. This is a honorable position by the Prime Minister, as lifting subsidies in absolute terms will lead to an inevitable social disaster. We are facing a disguised lifting of subsidies on foodstuffs, meat and medicine that led to widespread chaos in the markets and to a suspicious economic turmoil. The BDL’s circular on requesting that invoices be submitted beforehand for approval has contributed to the disguised lifting of subsidies. We, as GLC, reiterate our refusal to rationalize subsidies without adopting the rationing card. Why do banks not cooperate with the BDL to finance it? The Lebanese and expatriates’ deposits in banks were valued at $ 85 million, so where did this money go and where it evaporated? We also discussed with Premier Diab the necessity of forming a government immediately to cope with the difficult economic conditions ». —-PCM Press Office


Source: National News Agency-Lebanon