According to the French presidency, French President Emmanuel Macron will hold a press conference on Sunday regarding the political situation in Lebanon.

File photo: French President Emmanuel Macron stressed the need for reforms and slammed the manner in which matters in the country were being handled, called for a new system in Lebanon Aug 7, 2020

Prime minister designate Mustafa Adib, who was in charge of forming the government stepped down today and President Michel Aoun accepted his resignation

A source in the Elysee said, “The French initiative on Lebanon is ongoing and is not linked to any person.”

As was widely expected by most Lebanese, the so called Shiite duo of the heavily armed Iranian backed Hezbollah and its ally the Amal Movement sabotaged the formation of the cabinet by insisting on installing their own representatives in key government positions, a key stumbling block Adib faced till the very end which forced him to recluse himself .

Plan B

Several reports surfaced earlier indicating that Macron has a plan B

 According to a report by By MARTIN JAY that surfaced early September a bold new blueprint drafted by a British qualified lawyer of Lebanese origin and a Lebanese engineer may have the answer: create a state within a state which bypasses the old guard and runs these key sectors, allowing them to be profitable again.

Towards the end of September Rafic Koussa and Marc Oufi will meet with France’s foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, where they will present their plan which already has the backing of the French ambassador in Beirut and they claim two key French ministers.

The draft proposal aims to initially raise a modest $5 billion from US banks which will be pumped into these key sectors, which France will supervise but not own. 

The crux of the blueprint should be a no-brainer for Macron as part of the proposal, which asks for not even one euro from the French state, allows French companies to clean up on reconstruction contracts worth up to $15 billion, according to the draft proposal which the author of the report obtained and read. 

In the electricity sector alone, a French Giant, GE Alstom, is expected to be given up to a $5 billion contract to build gas turbines.

According to the report Macron will be forced to adopt the plan of the two Lebanese lawyers which rather than reforming or cleaning up the present corrupt elite (which will be near impossible), it takes a much more pragmatic and realistic approach and bypasses them altogether, creating a state-within-a-state in the key sectors which takes control and acts as executors of the loans from US banks. 

The idea simply is to encourage the elite to abandon governance on the basis that it no longer pays and there is nothing there to loot. And that these new sectors can reap taxes for the first time through profits and can set a benchmark against, say, the port and other sectors which have only drained the country while supporting militias, rather than provide valuable resources to state coffers.

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