Berri says Lebanon government’s performance “unacceptable”


“It is unacceptable for the government to continue under its current performance”, Speaker Nabih Berri was quoted as saying by members of the parliament, during his weekly meeting with lawmakers.

He added that the government must take a different approach when it comes to dealing with problems and proposed files, and not follow the trend of cutting corners.

Berri noted to a visiting delegation following the weekly parliamentarian meeting, that the problems the country is witnessing from social to syndical strikes and movements must be addressed through dialogue with respective syndicates and unions.

In regards to the overspending issue, Berri was quoted as saying that he will not intervene in the issue, stressing that solutions should be found for all pending problems and proposed files, starting with addressing the reasons behind the strikes, to the issue of assignments and finally the oil and gas file.

The Iranian and Syrian-backed Hezbollah militant group dominates the current government in Lebanon which is headed by PM Nagib Mikati.

Suleiman fed up

The cabinet on Wednesday postponed the discussion of the controversial issue of overspending to a session that will be held next Wednesday , due to lack of consensus among the government’s components.

During the cabinet session at the Baabda Palace, President Michel Suleiman “reiterated his rejection of signing off on the L.L.8,900 billion bill, while some ministers insisted that he should sign it,” NBN television reported.

Suleiman is reportedly fed up with the pressure exerted on him to sign the controversial extra-budgetary spending bill and MP Michel Aoun’s campaign against him.

MTV quoted Prime Minister Najib Miqati as saying during the session: “If there is no spending or appointments being made in the presence of this government, if there is only demonstrations, then why should it remain in power?”

MTV also quoted Energy and Water Minister Jebran Bassil as saying that “nothing will be passed.”

“The issue of spending was not passed during the session the way Hezbollah, AMAL Movement and the FPM wanted it to go, and they in turn blocked the approval of a L.L.4,900 billion plan that would secure spending until July,” MTV said.

prior to the cabinet session , Finance Minister Mohammed Safadi told reporters that he would “propose a L.L.4,900 billion plan which would secure the spending until July.”

“From now until that date, the government is obliged to approve the state budget, and if this amount of money was not approved, the basic needs, especially those related to the army and the security forces, would be at risk,” Safadi said

Hezbollah, according to observers has a problem. It does not like what is happening at the cabinet but its hands are completely tied . If it topples this cabinet like it did last year with the cabinet of former PM Saad Hriri, then it will be impossible for it to form another cabinet , because Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt will most probably join the opposition .