Greek Financial Crises, Solutions for Lebanon
It is my pleasure to be here, I would like to thank you for the invitation to this event to discuss a very important topic pertaining to the current situation.
It has been few years, Lebanon is witnessing an economic recession caused by a number of bad political and governmental decisions throughout decades, as well as a complete absence of reforms compared to a huge volume of corruption and budgets waste.
The country is full of fears, the economic recession along with an incapacity of the government to show seriousness in managing and finding solutions started to shake the whole society, and the main questioning was then Is the same Greek crisis happening to Lebanon?
We are in huge and deep financial and economic problems. It is our right to know why deficit rose 50% from 2016 till 2019; and why debt rose 25% from 2016 till 2019. Each year without reforms cost us between 12 and 16 billion dollars
Our economy is working between 50 and 60% and should increase in case of reforms between 85 to 90%. Thus increasing our GDP from 50 to 65 billion
Our main differences between Greece and Lebanon are that:
Greece had political interferences while in Lebanon we have political parties grip over everything
In Greece we had corruption while in Lebanon there is systematic grand theft robbery
In Greece we had lack of management while in Lebanon we have mismanagement waste and negative productivity
And at last but not least, Greece had Germany while we don’t have anyone
October 17, 2019; a date recorded in the neo history of Lebanon – The revolution, and needless to enumerate the particular aspects of this revolution from peace, to unity, to consciousness, to patriotism… all towards one main goal: “Save Lebanon, let the competent govern”
Being in the opposition since Kataeb Party resigned from government earlier in 2015 thus refuting the government’s practices of lack of governance, compromises, absence of will for improvement… and since then, Kataeb party didn’t fail at any occasion to warn and suggest practical solutions from the upcoming situation that was a natural consequence to the government’s practices which adopts each time a slogan that doesn’t reflect any of its reality حكومة إلى العمل حكومة وحدة وطنية حكومة العهد
Our country today is at stake
There is a Chinese proverb that says: to know the road ahead, ask those coming back . The Greek economy is recovering. Improving debt sustainability, tackling poverty and boosting investment which are vital measures to sustaining the positive momentum
What’s for Lebanon?
Despite that the solutions are sharp, clear and known, despite the struggle of people in the street and despite all the efforts done by protestors and the opposition, the government is still turning in a vicious circle, fearing to lose power but not fearing to lose its people and country
Finding the right solutions are at hand:
- Finding the right government: Independent trustworthy people, not involved in corruption; accepted by the people and the international community
- Injecting trust and confidence by implementing reforms, control on the customs and border etc
- Execution of some important actions that were missed by the previous governments, for example:
- Following up of the 2019 budget
- Approve the 2020 budget
- Meet CEDRE requirements to free the investments
- Push the private investments to replace the import of at least for 20 of the most imported goods
- Doing the necessary reforms related to the public sector
4. The necessity of isolating Lebanon from the regional turmoil
5. Approve the independency and sovereignty of the judiciary system
6. Implement the e-government for good governance, credibility and transparency and to enhance public services
7. Following up the Stolen Asset and the stolen and granted money ( قانون استعادة الأموال المنهوبة والموهوبة) in the aim of recovering it
Ladies and Gentlemen,
If there’s one thing economists don’t like, it is politics. We can draw up any number of fantastic policies on paper, but getting them through legislatures and implementation is another story. Politics has been a big part of the problem in Greece as well as in Lebanon. Not only are the politicians there incapable of choosing a way out of the crisis they created; they are even unable to form a government. But what if specialists and independent competent people were in charge (economists, managers, technical )?
With politicians pushed aside, namely the corrupt, independent specialists could offer at least a reanimation for the country, especially on trust level, thus stopping corruption and waste, freeing the judiciary system from the political hostage-holding, and attracting investments from donors, international community and other economies
That’s why we should remain in the streets to achieve the goals of a better Lebanon; and this require speed and will, time is lacking, and we need to act now
Ladies and Gentlemen
Do you know the story of the frog in hot water?
Once the frog fell in a vessel of the hot water. The Water was still on a gas stove. The frog still did not try to jump out of the vessel, instead just stayed in it. As the temperature of the water started to rise, the frog managed to adjust its body temperature accordingly. As the water started to reach the boiling point, the frog was no longer able to keep up and manage its body temperature according to the water temperature
The frog tried to jump out of the vessel but with water temperature reaching its boiling point, the frog was not able to bear it and couldn’t make it. What was the reason that a frog couldn’t make it? Will you blame the hot water for it?
Moral: The frog couldn’t make it due to its own inability to decide when it had to jump out. We all need to adjust according to the situations but there are times when we need to face the situation and take the appropriate action when we have the strength to do so before it’s too late. Walk out before you need to jump
Lebanon and Greece have a historical bond, and a history of glory, courage, wisdom, virtue and faith
And with glory, courage, wisdom, virtue and faith we shall face the situation and take appropriate actions to preserve our countries… after all, RIGHTEOUSNESS will prevail