Lebanon today: Friday April 19th Top news

 

Here are the top stories for Lebanon today:

hassan khalilShocking figures about public sector wages reveled by Lebanon Finance Minister

Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil revealed shocking figures related to salaries of some government employees  after the public outcry that was provoked by government plans to cut wages as part of strict austerity measures to counter an economic collapse.

“It is unacceptable that salaries of some state employees are higher than that of President of the Republic. Some of the deputies receive pensions and also receive their parliament salaries,” revealed Khalil in an interview on MTV. “The head of the examination department, for example, receives 60 million LBP( $40,000)  in five days during the annual state examinations and there are those who take compensation exceeding 100 million LBP,” he added. “The monthly salary of some Grade 1 employees reaches 50 million LBP ($33, 300! This must stop,” stressed Khalil. Lebanon is one of the world’s most indebted countries, with public debt estimated at 150 percent of gross domestic product in 2018, according to credit ratings agency Moody’s.Prime Minister Saad Hariri has warned of a “catastrophe” unless the government implements strict austerity measures to reduce a growing budget deficit and massive national debt.
1500 LBP equals one US dollar

Aoun Presses Budget Talks on Thursday

aoun in russia.President Michel Aoun insists the 2019 state budget draft gets discussed in Cabinet during its upcoming meeting next week on Thursday, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Friday.

Protest by more than 2,000 state employees in downtown Beirut early this week erupted amid discussions by the government of what it called “painful” and “unpopular” measures to be taken to try to cut the budget deficit and slow the growth of the national debt

  • Kris Welter

    Lebanon is in a most precarious position. It has chosen to follow a French model of Socialized Governmental of how it deals with salaries or employee compensation. Every case of double compensation should be eliminated, i.e. a retired worker now working in another post, such as the Parliament. Retirement funds should be held until the person actually RETIRES from active service, and never be allowed to be paid while a person is still employed. It’s retirement, not subsidized extra pay. The French allowed this for far too long, and it eventually almost bankrupted their Government. Ask Greece what happens with a situation like this. Lebanon is following the same path.

    At the same time, accompanying articles discussing the concerns of Professors at Lebanon University shows a striking excess of pay for tenured positions…positions held by foreigners, not Lebanese civilians. Why are FRENCH professors complaining about the possibility of a salary cut. What are they even doing teaching in Lebanon? What is any foreign academic doing teaching in Lebanon, especially academics from the Colonialist nations like Britain, France, the United States or Italy?

    The many facets of Lebanon’s cultural mix make it difficult to make clear headed decisions to exempt certain groups from positions they should not be holding in the first place. French and other foreign nationals need to be removed from positions of influence, the Franco-centric ideology they promote needs to be quelled, and Lebanon needs to return to being what it is, not what French Colonialism tried to make it into. Algeria and other former French Colonial systems show the literal insanity of allowing French influence to predominate an already existing culture, and this is the problem now afflicting Lebanon.

    I’ve walked the streets of Lebanon, in Tyre, Saida, Beirut, Byblos, Baalbek, Tripoli and across the central lowlands I saw the same French language welcoming signs for each small town or village, the same colonialist trappings of the mid-20th century, and seen the same Rivera-influenced attempts by Lebanese women to achieve the latest fashion or glamour. It sickened me to see this central part of the Holy Land being morphed into a shadowy replica of southern France, complete with ‘artisans’, alcohol, and Roast Ham. It’s time to say enough is enough, and for the Lebanese to take back their country, their land, and their identity.

    The first step toward that would be giving up on French-styled economic and governmental models, get a grip on spending, get rid of the foreigner-populated positions, and stop trying to be what Lebanon is NOT. Stop trying to be FRENCH…..Be Lebanese.