NNA – Free Patriotic Movement Chief, Gebran Bassil, sturdily cautioned Sunday against any intention to destroy the banking sector in Lebanon, and called for a quick endorsement of the government’s awaited rescue plan.
In a televised speech this morning, Bassil tackled the various political and financial developments in the country and his Movement’s position via-a-vis these developments, while wishing the Muslims in Lebanon and the world a blessed month of Ramadan, hoping that it would end by bringing peace and stability for Lebanon, reducing the spread of the Corona pandemic and ensuring the recovery of all those affected.
“Today, April 26, 2020, marks the commemoration of the withdrawal of the Syrian forces from Lebanon fifteen years. Of course, we remember this day with joy, as a sovereign and independent achievement for all the Lebanese, but more than that, we remember it because it was a dream come true, rather a miracle that occurred…We remember this day today, so it would be an example for all those skeptics and hopeless people, who previously tried to lead us from the dream of liberation, and today are trying to lead the Lebanese people away from fixing the financial situation,” Bassil said.
He criticized the “sick political mentality which was not satisfied with disrupting the fruitful projects that would serve the nation, but even went beyond that to rob the country since the 1990s and put in place monetary and economic fiscal policies that impoverished the state and the people…and remained determined to this day in refusing change and maintaining its corrupt and systematic political approach.”
He added that the fierce and brutal attack on his Movement, both in politics and the media, is but a result, “for to them, the system is more important than the country,” he said…”The recently renewed ferocity against the government and the mandate is only because the system is sensing, once again, that something will change, and it is forbidden to have this change...no change in policies nor in people!" Bassil corroborated.
He also criticized the reactions by some to the news of not finding commercial gas in Block #4, saying that “since the Free Patriotic Movement is behind achieving Lebanon’s entry into the oil world, they consider this to be a loss for the Movement, while forgetting that, if it occurs, it is actually a loss for Lebanon, and in the wake of any profit reached, it will be for all of Lebanon.”
Bassil went on to underline that “the blatant truth today is that there is a huge loss, and I will not enter into numbers that have begun to be known, that is, if there are no other unknown or hidden surprises…whereby this loss must be addressed and covered; hence, there must be a fair distribution of these losses…Those who should bear the coverage of these losses are: the corrupt, the thieves, the greedy beneficiaries, the banks, their owners and shareholders, the Central Bank, and the State through its policies and men and not its assets and properties."
He added: “The distribution rule should be based on three criteria: responsibility, benefit and size. In other words, it must first impact the perpetrator who should assume responsibility for his mistakes by tampering with the funds…Secondly, it should impact those who benefited largely, even if they were legitimate profits, from gifted or contraband funds and reaped huge gains from high interest policies, without touching their original funds or infringing on their rights…Thirdly, the loss must be commensurate with the size of the funds and there must be ceilings for that, which is a universally accepted concept such as progressive tax or tax on wealth, with the assurance of a complete neutralization of the owners of small and medium deposits, who appear to have gained these amounts through years of hard work and struggle.”
Bassil considered that distribution numbers and digital details in this regards must be included in the government’s rescue plan. “There are two directions, one from the executive authority to implement the existing laws, and another legislative from the Parliament Council which ought to pass new laws,” he added, referring herein to the project law on lifting the immunity and banking secrecy off those working in the public service that his bloc had submitted to the Parliament.
Bassil concluded by urging the government to move forward with its action plan and not to retreat, so that it can put an end to the entire nation and people’s sufferings and achieve the required salvation.