Internally, in its early days, the government seemed promising. The great activity of the majority of its employees is a sign of wellness. Its president does not show ambitions of the kind that characterize our politicians. The man does not show any signs of corruption. His personal behavior in the company building and with his team, indicates that he respected the laws. Learn about the deep state of organized corruption. He found it in all the corners of the companies, and in all the ongoing discussions around it. But Diab, who had to deal with ministers chosen by others, seemed comfortable to some of them. The ministers say about him that he is not alone in the decision. He may be the first official who believes in delegating others to do business. The pressure for accomplishments did not lead him to hasty decisions. Establishing the right destination, through the formation of a general emergency squad, from which committees specialized in pending affairs branched off. The attendance at these committees was limited to a team that he chose, consisting of consultants and assistants, and new ministers. However, representatives of the state and administration attend on their own, as they occupy positions in the concerned departments and institutions.
Hassan Diab and his ministerial team did not need a road map to identify representatives of the public sector. But who Diab quickly met with was the team implanted within his government, however, he did not fall under pressure until the problem started:
In the file of energy and electricity, it quickly became apparent that the powerful lobby within the country was still operating with the same agendas. Disputes over gas station stations, disputes and doubts over companies that intend to set up power plants. And disputes about working mechanisms, and rigidity awaiting external support. And when a skylight was opened by positive messages sent by the French and the Germans, cold water finally came to lock the doors: Foreigners want financial guarantees in order to obtain their rights in the construction phase and in the operation stage. They are implicitly looking for local partners who are able to bear the risks arising from weak state administration in collection, on the one hand, and the declining strength of the local currency on the other.
The government approved yesterday mandating the Minister of Energy to carry out a communications campaign that includes ambassadors of a number of countries in order to discuss with them the matter of offering to large companies in them to submit offers for the establishment of factories and the establishment of temporary stations and provide financing with grace periods and the process of scheduling payments. These negotiations are supposed to take place from state to state and under the supervision of President Michel Aoun, according to what the constitution allows to manage foreign negotiation operations, provided that the minister returns to the government within two weeks with answers and an overview so that the appropriate decision is taken.
In the judicial file and the prosecution of corruption, it was found that it is forbidden to harm any of the men of the deep state in all sectors. Judge Ali Ibrahim could not proceed with a project to summon and hold perpetrators of the state’s public and sea property smuggling, money smuggling, banking sector management, and the file of contractors working with the state or who are responsible for importing oil and essential materials from medicine and wheat, and accumulated fortunes in the tens of billions of dollars. While the discriminatory Attorney General, Ghassan Aouidat, acted suspiciously when he encouraged Judge Ibrahim to take action against banks, but he returned, warned, and reversed himself, after he had already recovered all the other files. He accepted to play the role of mediator with the Association of Banks, a role that could be repeated with businessmen, contractors and importers.
In the face of the Corona crisis, the government is doing its utmost. But it is unable to prosecute the hospital and insurance sector, where thefts and lack of morals together. Here is the government hospital struggling alone. Do not actually volunteer from outside the Lebanese University. The state still exempts these private institutions from some taxes on the pretext that they are public benefit institutions. School grants are still spent on those who send their children to private universities, leaving formal education helpless.
But the biggest problem is related to the financial situation, as the last days show that President Diab was exposed to a cordon operation from the corrupt political class alliance, the Bank’s party, and pressure groups working with international financial institutions… so what happens?
In practice, the private financial sector, i.e. banks, had a balanced stake in the new government. Three members and managers of the boards of directors of the banking sector distribute the front seats:
Damianus Train, (share of President Hassan Diab) the presidential candidate and member of the Board of Directors of the Lebanese Credit Bank, and the Minister of Finance who did not leave a significant imprint in a previous government.
Three members of the boards of directors of the banking sector distribute the front seats of the government
Ghazi Wazni, (share of President Nabih Berri), an economist who knows nothing about one accomplished him, a member of the Board of Directors of the IBL Bank, and a friend of senior bankers in Lebanon.
Raoul Neama, (the share of President Michel Aoun), the mobile banking employee from Societe Generale Banks to the Lebanese Trade Bank to the Mediterranean, who is not interested in the affairs of his ministry today as much as he is concerned with the “big issues” of financial affairs.
These three, worked hard from the first day to catch the decision of any committee formed by the prime minister to follow up on the provisions of the comprehensive plan. They are the ones who are physically busy today with regard to vacant positions in the Banque du Liban (Deputy Governor, Commissioner, and the Oversight Committee) and the nominations issued by them, representing the same viewpoint. The mindset that Riad Salama wants and the Association of Banks prevails until Judgment Day. The candidates themselves are bank workers responsible for the crisis. They work at the same political, financial and banking references.
Yesterday, my weight attempted to dissuade the ministers from demanding the submission of the list of candidates for office. He said he is the concerned minister and no one has the right to interfere in his powers. However, the Prime Minister asked him to visit him on Saturday in his office and with him the list of candidates, especially since the majority of ministers informed Diab as I weighed that they would not go through appointments at least a week before they were seen, and that the decision would be issued by the cabinet.
But the work of these people is not limited to this item. They seek to dismember the plan. First, they led the debt approval campaign to the investment funds abroad. None of them was retreated due to the general climate that prevailed in the government or in the country. Then they are the ones who only trust foreign companies. While the government’s financial and legal consultants were supposed to work to negotiate with creditors abroad, this ministerial team wants to leave these consultants with the task of developing comprehensive plans to save the country. And these, they supported the idea of separating the Capital Control Bill from the overall plan. They are the ones who do not play their part in forcing Riad Salama to provide the actual inventory of the assets of the Banque du Liban and the banks of Lebanon in Lebanon and abroad. They are the same ones who cheer for the necessity of working with the International Monetary Fund, and they themselves are the ones who make Riad Salama come out of every meeting he has with Presidents Aoun and Diab with the smile of the victor: The youth is not good!
The insolence of this team reaches to seek the assistance of legal professionals working in the service of banks to prepare the Capital Control project, which, as mentioned in the first copy, serves only owners of funds, and provides full coverage of what the Bank of Lebanon and the Association of Banks do. This is what the Minister of Finance, who has reached the point of defending, refuses to direct any cash to the Governor of the Banque du Liban, and he defends granting him exceptional powers to manage this stage. Today, my weight is working in cooperation with the blessing and train and advisors at the Banque du Liban to bring more pressure through the French financial advisory firm.
The day before yesterday, the Prime Minister received the two ministers, Emad Hob Allah and Ramsey Mosharfieh, who informed him that the project cannot proceed as presented in one session. It was agreed with them that all the notes would be prepared and sent to the Grand Saracea within the next four days, and that the project be reformulated next Tuesday and distributed to the ministers with the intention of studying and approving it in the next Thursday’s government session.
It is known that the Lazard team is composed of two parts: a section devoted to sovereign debt restructuring, and a section devoted to financial and economic issues and indicators. The team is headed by a Lebanese named Francois Khayat, and with him a number of officials and assistants, including Lebanese. Their mission is to prepare a file on Lebanon that will be presented to creditors that includes the indicators that prompted the state to announce default and see the steps that must be taken in order to regain control of the public debt and restructure in proportion to this goal. This file will be the basis for negotiating with creditors. The problem with this file is the absence of numbers upon which the restructuring process is supposed to be based. No one has received accurate and final numbers from the Bank of Lebanon. Noting that Lazard and Claire Guthlib’s team are operating from outside Lebanon after they left due to the Corona crisis, and most of the work is done through phone calls.