Therefore, let us enumerate the main points of the proposed solutions: The crisis, in its immediate appearance, is a crisis in the economic structure, where the rentier nature prevails over the productive character, and therefore the economy must be restructured. This requires the state to free financial resources to rehabilitate the infrastructure so that the productive economy can take off. However, liberating these resources is difficult in light of the existing financial crisis due to the size of the public debt and its repercussions on the economy in general and on the state’s expenditures and the fiscal and monetary policy that must be taken.
Angel Poligan – Mexico
The issue of the public debt requires restructuring it in a way that reduces its burdens to modest proportions of the general budget. This means reviewing the debt basis or capital, rescheduling it, and reviewing interest. However, the public debt represented by Treasury bills is mainly carried by the banking sector, with its two parts, i.e. the governance of the Banque du Liban, and the private one, i.e. the Lebanese Banks Association. This sector is directly responsible and essential, though not the only one, for the debt exacerbation. The partner in the crime that was committed against Lebanon would not have happened without the cover and the direct participation of the political forces that have assumed responsibility for governance since the Taif era. The current reality is that the banking sector is just around the corner, in our opinion, it is in a state of collective bankruptcy. Therefore, the sector must be restructured to achieve two main objectives:
The first goal is to restore confidence between the depositor and the bank, and this is a necessary condition for the resurrection of the sector.
The second objective is to re-establish a banking sector that is in line with the country’s financial and monetary orientations, to move from a rentier economy to a productive one.
The restructuring of the banking sector, starting from governance and reaching the body of the sector, requires drastic measures such as dismissing the ruler, reforming the administrative body of the Banque du Liban, and reducing the number of banks with an essential role for the state in ownership of banks. Yes, there is a minimum level of nationalization required to rebuild the banking sector because the current officials in that sector have breached the trust and demonstrated incompetence to be able to continue. The question here is how will the next government approach this issue within the red lines that prevent any serious review?
On the other hand, there is a basket of measures promoted by the “banking party” that seeks to evade its direct responsibility for economic ruin, and that it requires selling state property to pay off the bulk of the public debt, on the pretext that it is the only solution to pay off the rights of depositors. We are not in the context of debate with this proposition, which we reject in form and substance, because it rewards the inaction and punishes the innocent, but because this solution is tantamount to an aggression against the state’s sovereignty in public ownership and an aggression on the sources of the state’s economic power. Nevertheless, there are those who are promoting this approach so that those responsible for the banking sector evade their civil and criminal responsibilities.
In our opinion, solutions are ready, but they need political decision. Here, the difficulty may lie in obtaining a decision due to the so-called political structure existing in Lebanon on the basis of consensus between the basic components. Since corruption includes most of the political forces in the components, the leadership of these components protects themselves by protecting each other. The economic crisis is technical, but its essence is political.
On the political side, we do not only talk about the implications of the sectarian and confessional structure that controls the decision, but rather we go further when we affirm that there is no room for growth and / or development in Lebanon, or even in any Arab country while the Zionist entity is in existence. The political and economic reform promoted by the so-called international community is to serve the Zionist entity first and foremost.
The common thread between Egypt’s experience in the 1950s and 1960s, Algeria’s experience in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as Iraq and Syria, is an independent, sovereign economic decision. This is a taboo for the West and the Zionist entity. Therefore, efforts have been made to abort these experiences with wars and political coups against the sovereign approach. Today, the issue is not only about preserving the military superiority of the Zionist entity, but also about the economic superiority. The latter is accomplished by destroying national economies or submitting them to the dictates of international financial institutions and Western governments. No political sovereignty without economic sovereignty and no economic sovereignty is possible as long as the entity is at the forefront of protecting the West in general and the United States in particular.
If the options and policies of the various governments in the Taif era were causing the economic and financial crisis, it should not be forgotten that the external sponsor of these policies had a strategic goal of subjecting the Lebanese economy to external decisions in a way that would serve the Zionist interest. The bribe of some of the powerful political forces was by turning a blind eye to corruption.
From here we understand today the pressure on Lebanon economically and financially to isolate the resistance from its incubating environment and the government scene, in preparation for besieging it and disarming it in one way or another. Moreover, the bombing that took place in the Beirut port came to give more pressure on the hand of the entity regarding the possibility of replacing the Beirut port in the interest of Haifa Port. Gulf normalization with the entity opens the scope of the land line between the eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf states, not only for the passage of goods, but also for the delivery of Gulf gas and oil to the eastern Mediterranean, bypassing Syria and Lebanon.
These possible possibilities collide with the strategic interests of the axis of resistance on the one hand, and of the countries that support it, including the Russian Federation. The battle being fought in the eastern Mediterranean between France and Turkey is about gas as it is about the reconstruction of Syria. Whoever holds the Lebanese economic card can negotiate the file for the reconstruction of Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.
Lebanon is on the verge of an unparalleled economic renaissance if a government willing and able to make strategic decisions and ready to confront the US-Zionist-Gulf alliance, and in return, Lebanon may enter a deep tunnel if there is no economic and financial confrontation government.
On the other hand, Egypt, which is linked to gas agreements with Israel, Cyprus, Greece and the “Palestinian Authority”, faces an additional dilemma, while the Gulf gas has reached the eastern Mediterranean through the port of Haifa and bypassing the Suez Canal.
What we want to say here is that the issue of Gulf normalization affects the national security of Lebanon, Syria and Egypt, as well as the interests of the Russian Federation. There is no assurance that the translation of normalization will be automatic in building oil and gas pipelines and land trade, because that requires protections that may not be available. In addition, Gulf normalization puts Jordan in a difficult situation over the difficulties that are reeling under its burden now, and it may contribute to creating an unstable environment that, in turn, affects the “safety” of implementing projects between the Zionist entity and the normalized countries. This is if we exclude the hypothesis of instability in the normalized Gulf states that are facing massive popular resentment from the ocean to the Gulf. This resentment may affect the balance of power in the region, and it may be resolved not long ago, and therefore we think that it is an exaggeration to rely on an imminent danger as a result of this normalization that may turn the magic on the magician.
As for the Lebanese economic file, we still believe that the difficulty in finding a decision is due to an objective consensus on the part of the various political components in Lebanon not to face direct confrontation with the United States. The assessment of the situation at the regional, international, and even Arab levels is that the balance of power is disturbed in the interest of the axis of resistance, while the Zionist entity and its allies from the Gulf states are facing great difficulties in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, and they may lose Egypt.
Therefore, the eruption of the chronic crisis in Lebanon, which is based on compromising between the resistance and the allies of the United States, is the US administration’s decision to end this cohabitation and to deal a fatal blow to the resistance through the social crisis that will be born from the womb of the economic and financial crisis. It is true that local corruption played a role in creating the crisis, but it should not be forgotten that corruption was encouraged regionally and internationally to reach the state in which it finds Lebanon. Corruption of the political forces participating in power in the Taif era was the executive arm to subjugate Lebanon.
Here some take on the resistance not enough attention to this file from the beginning. On the other hand, it must be acknowledged that the obsession with preserving civil peace led the resistance not to give priority to the file of corruption without neglecting it. Statements by party leaders and officials confirm that Hezbollah has prepared the files, but it is not able to impose measures that may prove the accusation that it is in control of the state or that it is a state within a state and that it has made fabrications and accusations.
Lebanon is on the verge of an unprecedented economic renaissance if a government is willing and able to take strategic decisions and is ready to confront the US-Zionist-Gulf alliance. On the other hand, Lebanon may enter a deep tunnel if there is no economic and financial confrontation government.
* Writer and political economist, and former Secretary General of the Arab National Congress
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