Prime Minister Hassan Diab reportedly held a meeting with political aide to Speaker Nabih Berri, former Minister and MP Ali Hassan Khalil who relayed the Speaker’s rejection of any economic rescue plan targeting bank savings of Lebanese through a “haircut” procedure, the Saudi Asharq al-Awsat reported on Monday.
Khalil “informed Diab frankly that Berri would not agree on a rescue draft law mainly the part aiming to deduct from the deposits of senior depositors,” a political source told the daily on condition of anonymity.
“Diab and Khalil held an extended meeting and deliberated the issue for over two hours and half,” said the source.
“The PM eventually reached a conviction that a haircut draft law will not be approved in the Cabinet or Parliament, and that the Speaker rejects it because it contradicts the Lebanese Constitution which states that Lebanon is a free economy system, and looks at deposits as a sacred issue,” added the source.
Many officials have described the “haircut” draft law on savings as a “blatant theft.”
The new cabinet is expected to outline its financial rescue plan as the country grapples with an unprecedented economic and financial crises, adding to the global coronavirus pandemic that also hit the country’s stricken economy.