Lebanon today: Friday May 3Top news

Here are the top stories for Lebanon today:

Top Lebanese banker warns against raising tax on  interest income

Joseph Torbey, chairman of the Association of Banks in Lebanon
Joseph Torbey, chairman of the Association of Banks in Lebanon

A top Lebanese banker warned on Thursday that a proposed hike in the tax on interest income would affect capital flows to Lebanon, weaken banks’ ability to play their financing role in the economy, and obstruct growth. The Lebanese government is currently discussing a draft 2019 budget that would raise the tax paid on deposit interest income to 10 percent from 7 percent. Interest income had been tax free until the levy was introduced last year. Lebanon is saddled with one of the heaviest public debt burdens in the world and Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri’s government has vowed to enact long-delayed reforms to put state finances on a sustainable path. Joseph Torbey, chairman of the Association of Banks in Lebanon warned against underestimating the impact of “subjecting the banking system and its deposits to seasonal taxes at every opportunity – as happened last year” – a reference to the new levy in 2018.

Nizar Zakka, a U.S. resident and Lebanese businessman has been in an Iranian prison since September 2015. His son, Nadim Nizar Zakka, is campaigning for his release
Nizar Zakka, a U.S. resident and Lebanese businessman has been in an Iranian prison since September 2015. His son, Nadim Nizar Zakka, is campaigning for his release

Lebanon calls on Iran to release its citizen Nizar Zakka

Lebanon is calling on Iran to use the upcoming holy month of Ramadan to grant amnesty to a Lebanese citizen who is also a U.S. resident imprisoned there for more than three years. The appeal for the release of Nizar Zakka came Friday in a letter sent by Lebanon’s Foreign Minister to his Iranian counterpart. The letter was delivered to the Iranian ambassador to Lebanon.

 

 

  • Kris Welter

    You do not solve a governments fiscal irresponsibility by taxing your citizens. You solve the problems by restructuring and streamlining your Government, privatizing Social programs, and capping the exorbitant benefits that Government employees have been receiving. The Finance of Hariri’s government is totally Frankish, pulling it’s ideas and priorities from the French model, which is a proven FAILURE. You can’t buy the people with benefits and bribes…you can only support their security and expanded economic activity and must do everything you can to ensure that the Government’s NOT the problem with the economy, which it now is.

    Smaller Government, lower taxes, less debt combine to create a burgeoning economy. Stop being STUPID, Hariri…stop being French