Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr
For the first time, a Lebanese government dared to shake the hard core of the “Lebanese system”. Opening a governing battle for the Bank of Lebanon is a challenge to the ruling financial authority in the world, as well as to a branched system of interests in Lebanon. The Presidents of the Republic and the government raised the red card in the face of Riad Salameh. And the atmosphere of the cabinet yesterday reflected the consensus of the majority of its constituent powers of the dismissal, with the exception of the “Amal Movement”, whose ministers raised their hands in rejecting the dismissal that was not presented to the cabinet table as an official proposal.
The speech of Prime Minister Hassan Diab, after the cabinet session yesterday, was a very significant indication of the change in the executive authority’s policy towards the Governor of the Bank of Lebanon, Riad Salameh, and his policies, in addition to the system he represents. Diab raised the voice without equivocation, dropping the “pampering” method of his predecessors from the previous heads of government, refusing to meet Salama in his pursuit of the policy of subjecting the country to American conditions.
For the first time, the intersection between Washington’s position that seeks to protect its “chief of staff” in the banking sector in Lebanon and the government’s position on it is absent. And for the first time, the prime minister launches a public reprimanding position on the ruler who used to harness the head of the cabinet in his favor, paving the battle for “governance” seriously. It was this seriousness that prompted Salama to seek help quickly with two equations: a sectarian equation represented by Bkerke’s position, which refuses to turn it into a “burnt ram”, and an equation to place his dismissal in the field of Hezbollah’s control of the financial decision.
In the service of these two equations, Salamah stirred a political-media machine, perhaps attaining a sectarian lineup that protects him, and an American drawing a red line around him, disregarding the masses of people who went to the street demanding the return of the money that had been swallowed up by the “black bank hole”.
As soon as the dismissal became a subject of research, this machine began to confront it by placing it in the context of settling accounts with the governor of the “Central” and the entire banking sector at the instigation of Hezbollah, or a process of revenge carried out by the Free Patriotic Movement against the so-called “political freedom” and all its symbols, knowing that the movements The latter in front of the bank came at the invitation of left-wing groups and participation in the October 17 uprising, most notably the youth and students sector in the Lebanese Communist Party, the “bank youth group” and the “youth movement for change”.
As for Salameh, he has become more aggressive and brazen in defending his position. He clearly says that “my battle is with Hezbollah and not with any other party.” He no longer hides the presentation of credentials to the Americans when he says: “I want them to know that what I am doing is to confront the party. The generalizations that I issue are only to convince them that I am the only one I can trust and deal with to solve the country’s financial crisis. ” He wants this speech to become the “only fact” that is being circulated before he repeated in his sessions that he will not interfere in the market to face the collapse of the lira, nor will he ship any money from abroad to pump it in the face of the high price of the dollar. Salama lives in total denial of the fact that the Presidents of the Republic and the government tell him “Phil.” In describing himself, he used the term “the captain of the ship that sank, the only one who could rescue him, and he was indispensable at the moment of the sinking.”
As for the government yesterday, it was similar to preparing the ground to remove the political cover from safety. With the exception of the Amal movement ministers, all of the ministers met behind a single opinion in favor of the dismissal. In the cabinet meeting chaired by President Michel Aoun, the latter raised the issue of the safety and crisis of the dollar, stressing that “the situation is difficult and cannot continue with the same approach.” Diab and a number of ministers (Ghada Shreim, Emad Hob Allah, Ramsey Al-Mashrafia, Hamad Hassan, Talal Hawat, Mary Claude Najm and others) spoke, and attacked a safety policy, saying that “the lie that he practices is unacceptable”, not to mention “not cooperating with the government and Diab.” A number of them have confirmed that the ruler’s actions negatively affect all sectors. Hawat talked about “the possibility of the collapse of the telephone network and the Internet because of the inability to import the necessary equipment.”
Only the two ministers of Amal movement, they spoke as a defense team for Salama, so that Minister of Finance Ghazi Wazani has instructed that “the dismissal of Salama will have serious repercussions, and will lead to a complete collapse in the exchange rate that could reach 20 thousand pounds against the dollar.” My weight added: “The dismissal of Salama is not possible in light of vacancies in the Banking Supervision Committee and in the Central Council of the Bank of Lebanon, as there are no deputies for the governor at present, in addition to his dismissal needing to agree on an alternative to him in advance.” While the minister, God’s love, replied, “The price of the dollar is currently almost 5,000 pounds, in the presence of safety, and it will continue to rise because it does not interfere.
The Minister of Agriculture, Abbas Mortada, rose up, thinking that Al-Majzoub’s words were a response to the Minister of Finance, before his colleagues explained to him the reality. After Mortada said that the dismissal decision required political accommodation, as well as financial appointments, President Aoun, who confirmed that he will work to secure a political consensus, intervened, asking the ministers: “If the dismissal is formally proposed, is there anyone among you who opposes it? “Whoever opposes it, let him raise his hand.” Only the ministers of Amal movement raised their hands.
Soon, the “movement” denounced the “charge”, stressing that “everything that has been circulated or transmitted in some media, especially my new channel and the OTV, about contacts that have taken place with it regarding its position on the issue of the Governor of the Bank of Lebanon is absolutely incorrect.” And she clarified, in a statement issued by the central media office, that “no one has presented her leadership with any proposal in this regard, and therefore no answer has been given. As for the position of the ministers in today’s session, it was clear in terms of the need for political consultations before giving a position.”
Amal movement sources told Al-Akhbar that “the dismissal of Riad Salameh has not been discussed with us until now, and we did not agree to anything as we did not refuse anything. This matter requires political discussion in parallel to the work that the company will perform in the bank’s accounts, and if it becomes clear. There are violations, no one will stand by Salama, knowing that “this matter is not a condition, and it all depends on the consultations that we will have with our allies.”
As for those outside the government, Hariri issued a statement, which is the longest since his resignation, in which he launched an unprecedented attack on Diab. He said: «Bravo Hassan Diab. You did well, and here you are fulfilling their dreams of liquidating the free economic system. They applaud you in the palace and find a fat in you for the strong pie of the covenant. How can you be absent from you who caused half of the public debt through subsidizing electricity, and turn a blind eye to seven years Who is obstructing constitutional institutions, and not asking about the policies that have affected Lebanon’s Arab and international relations, and not paying attention to the responsibilities that new guardians assume as prime minister?
Are they all made by the Governor of the Bank of Lebanon? ”Hariri pointed out that“ the government is trying to beg for popular movements with populist temptations and is practicing a policy of whitening the page of the covenant and its symbols on the method of whitening faces, money and stolen goods, and then resorting to riding the wave of demands without being able to meet them and aiming to thwart them And its turn around itself on the heavy legacy of successive governments ».
Al-Hariri was not satisfied with this statement, as his current personalities set out from Ahmed Al-Hariri to Muhammad Shuqair to defend Salama. Al-Hariri tried to seek the help of the leader of the Marada Movement, Suleiman Franjieh, who was advised by the website of the Future Movement website, but Franjieh jumped over the issue of dismissing Salameh to begin searching the names of his replacements, which means that he does not object to the dismissal, as he said: “I do not know Salama. But if Mansour Batish was proposed as a substitute for him, we would have voted against him in the government, and a safety alternative would have national satisfaction and experience. As for Batish, these specifications did not apply to him, so we would have voted against him. ”
At night, the “Socialist” party joined the machine, aiming its arrows against Diab. He issued a statement in harmony with Hariri’s statement in defense of Salama, in which he said: “We realize, as all other Lebanese people, that your government is not ready for change or accountability.
Salama wants to change the direction of the battle, saying that he is the one who is targeting Hezbollah exclusively
For his part, Aoun considered that “it is not possible to blame us and the current government for the mistakes that occurred over 30 years.” From the cabinet meeting in Baabda Palace, he stressed that “the government has worked and is working since its formation, to address urgent issues, and has achieved within 70 days what governments have not achieved over the past three years.”
At its session, the Council of Ministers approved measures to “fight corruption and recover stolen money”, and approved “investigations to determine the accounts from which financial transfers were made and measures taken against their owners.” He also agreed to “take immediate measures to combat corruption and recover the looted funds”, in addition to “an expedited draft law requiring the recovery of transfers abroad that took place after 17 October.”