In an interview with the Washington Post Salam said that the 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon “are a burden because they share our electricity, our water, our schools, our roads, our commerce, our jobs — and yes, the Lebanese have had enough and are tired of this situation .”
“But the (real) breakdown in Lebanon will take place because of the inability to solve the problems of the country, like the garbage issue and others,” he said.
The garbage crisis erupted when Lebanon’s largest landfill in Naameh was closed on July 17. Trash began piling up on the streets, leading to anti-government demonstrations.
The main activist group behind the protests is the “You Stink” movement.
“I can’t blame them at all,” Salam told his interviewer about the protesters.
“I respect their anger, because it is emanating from a reality: the weakness in almost everything as a result of the stalemate the country is going through — the incapability of electing a new president for the past year and four months, the paralysis of legitimate institutions like the parliament, and the paralysis also seeping through to the Cabinet ,” he said.
Asked about the vacuum at the Baabda Palace, Salam said: “Solving the problem in Lebanon requires much less effort. It only requires the international big powers and the regional ones to get together and say, “Yes, we will support this guy as a president,” and things will start moving.”
Lebanon has been without a president since May 2014 when president Michel suleiman’s term expired .
MP Michel Aoun and his backers in the Hezbollah -led March 8 alliance do no have enough votes to get him to the Baabda Palace and that is why they have been boycotting the election sessions for fear that the Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea will be elected as the president with simple majority.
Geagea has been blaming Iran for the presidentail vacuum