After weeks of hesitation and internal debate, the member countries of the European Union (EU) have agreed to punish the Lebanese leaders at the origin of the political and economic sinking of the country of the Cedar. At the end of a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Twenty-Seven, held Monday July 12 in Brussels, the head of French diplomacy, Jean-Yves Le Drian, declared that a consensus had been found “To put in place a legal framework for sanctions”.
These measures – of which we do not yet know what form they will take or who they will target – should come into force by the end of the month, before the commemoration of the disastrous explosion of August 4, in the port. of Beirut, which killed more than two hundred people. With this legal arsenal, the EU intends to acquire“A tool to put pressure on the Lebanese authorities to move forward in the composition of the government and in the implementation of reforms”, said Jean-Yves Le Drian, who lamented that Lebanon is “Self-destructing”.
For almost two years, the country of the Cedars has been sinking into an economic crisis of unprecedented brutality, the result of the negligence and corruption of the governments which have succeeded one another since the end of the civil war in 1990. This cataclysm, marked by the free fall of the national currency and hyperinflation, is exacerbated by the immobility of the political class.
The faith-based parties which have monopolized power for thirty years have still not succeeded in forming a government likely to replace the cabinet of Hassan Diab, which has resigned since the explosion of August 4. The negotiations come up against the antagonism, half-political, half-personal, opposing the Prime Minister designate, Saad Al-Hariri, leader of the Sunni camp, to the head of state, Michel Aoun, and his son-in-law, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gebran Bassil, patron of the main Christian party.
The absence of a functional executive deprives Lebanon, whose coffers are nevertheless empty, of a loan from the IMF and the eleven billion dollars of aid which was promised to it during the CEDRE conference, organized in Paris in 2018. The allocation of these funds is conditional on governance reforms, which the Lebanese politico-financial oligarchy refuses. As a result, more than 50% of the population fell below the poverty line and according to Unicef, 30% of the country’s children went to bed hungry or skipped meals in June.
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