New Government Isn’t Making Much of a Difference in Lebanon

Last week, Lebanon formed a new government. That’s good news.

Since October, the volume with which people voiced their anger over the economic crisis only increased. Although mostly peaceful, it quickly morphed into an anti-corruption call, which turned into a demand for top officers to step down. In answer, Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned three months ago, taking the Cabinet with him and remaining only as a caretaker. Top officials President Michel Aoun and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri remained in place.

Reviving the economy

Protestors demanded a new government and a new approach to turning the economic crisis around. It would seem that for the new prime minister, Hassan Diab’s appointment, the first job at hand is to get his position confirmed. Then the REAL work begins.

Heart For Lebanon’s Tom Atema explains, “What happens next is approval process from the Parliament. That will take about two weeks to confirm everything and make sure that happens. This new government was formed after Hezbollah and its allies clinched a deal with the Cabinet for the country to tackle some of its worst economic problems that they have had in history.”

For the former education minister and university professor, it’s a lot to handle. “His first big issue is to solve the economic crisis. That is huge,” Atema says. Tackling it will take a vote of confidence and an infusion of cash from the Arab bloc. “If they will do that at very low-interest rates or no interest, then they will not have to go through years of austerity as Greece did. But if they don’t, or don’t give them that much, or have high interest rates or high restrictions, it is very possible that it could be years (for recovery). ”

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, R.B. Klama