Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, September 27th, 2020

France tries forcing change on Lebanon’s politicians

France tries forcing change on  Lebanon’s politicians

BEIRUT (AP) — During his visit this month, French President Emmanuel Macron gave Lebanon’s politicians a road map for policy changes and reform, set deadlines for them to take action and told them he’d be back in December to check on progress.
It was a hands-on approach that angered some in Lebanon and was welcomed by others. And it revived a bitter question in the tiny Mediterranean country: Can Lebanese rule themselves?
Lebanon’s ruling class, in power since the end of the civil war in 1990, has run the tiny country and its population into the ground. Heading a sectarian system that encourages corruption over governing, the elite have enriched themselves while investing little on infrastructure, failing to build a productive economy and pushing it to the verge of bankruptcy.
Anger over corruption and mismanagement has come to a peak after the giant Aug. 4 explosion at Beirut’s port, caused by the detonation of nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate that politicians allowed to sit there for years. Nearly 200 people were killed and tens of thousands of homes were damaged. Another large fire erupted at the port on Thursday, only further traumatizing and frustrating Beirutis.

“Preventing the oligarchy from running the show seems wishful thinking at this point unless the Lebanese people defy the odds by forcing a new reality.” (AP)