France and the European Union are reportedly preparing proposals that could result in an asset freeze and a travel ban on Lebanese politicians to push them to agree on a government to save the country from economic collapse, media reports said on Friday.
France has led efforts to assist Lebanon, but has not yet succeeded at getting the various sectarian factions to agree on a government, let alone initiate reforms that could allow an influx of foreign aid.
“Concrete proposals are being prepared against the same people who have abandoned the common good for their personal interests,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told lawmakers on Tuesday.
“If (Lebanese) politicians do not fulfill their responsibilities, we will not hesitate to carry out our responsibilities,” he added.
Two foreign diplomats reportedly said that Le Drian’s team is studying how the European Union can prepare sanctions that include travel bans and asset freezes on some Lebanese officials.
A massive explosion at Beirut’s port on August 4 last year has devastated swaths of the capital. A government has not yet been formed to replace the one that resigned after the incident.