Berri links salaries of public employees to parliament approval

berri def

berri defLebanon Speaker Nabih Berri said that the public employees would not be paid their salaries for the month of July unless the bill was approved by the parliament to authorize extra-budgetary expenditure, Al-Joumhouria newspaper reported on Friday.

“There are no contacts or discussions on this issue , and there will be no salaries for the public employees at the end of this month if the parliament does not approve the bill pertaining to this issue,” Berri was quoted by Al-Joumhouria as saying.

“I will not allow any violation of the law by paying salaries to the public employees the same way they were paid in 2005, which is the way the Future Movement wants them to be paid,” Berri also said, adding that the dialogue with the Future Movement was “negative.”

Berri also reiterated the need to elect a president before mid-August.

“If we did not elect a president by mid-August, the extension of the parliament’s term will be likely, because some parties, especially the Future Movement, are bragging that holding the parliamentary elections in the absence of a president will lead to the resignation of the cabinet,” he said.

“[There] would be no [president] to hold consultations with parliamentary blocs to appoint a new premier, this is why we should elect a president before the end of August.” Berri who heads up the Amal Movement , a close ally of the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group said.

The speaker thinks that the current security situation was suitable to hold parliamentary elections, “unless a great security incident took place.”

“Not preparing to hold the elections will cause more power vacuum in the country. If there is no president there will be no cabinet and no parliament,” he said.

Hezbollah along with FPM leader MP Michel Aoun have prevented the election of a president to replace Michel Suleiman , whose term ended last May 25 due to lack of qurom; Their MPs boycotted the 8 parliamentary sessions that were set for the election.

Amal – Future dialogue
Consultations are still ongoing between AMAL and Future movements in an attempt to reach consensus over several controversial issues .

According to An Nahar newspaper published on Friday, a meeting was held between Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, who is Speaker Nabih Berri’s adviser, and the head of former premier Saad Hariri’s office, Nader Hariri, on Thursday evening.

The meeting was reportedly held in presence of Health Minister Wael Abou Faour, who is the aide of Progressive Socialist Party chief Walid Jumblatt, at the finance ministry headquarters.

Futurel movement, which is affiliated in the March 14 alliance, is insisting that the only solution to the spending row is for Khalil to submit the state’s 2014 budget draft-law to the parliament for approval.

Parliament should pass draft-laws allowing the government to approve treasury loans. But lawmakers have been boycotting legislative sessions over the vacuum at the presidency.