Jumblat Raises Concerns over ‘Arbitrary’ Subsidies


Progressive Socialist Party leader ex-MP Walid Jumblat on Friday warned that Lebanon’s “arbitrary” subsidization on basic products amid the nation’s economic crisis is depleting the country’s foreign currency reserves.

Jumblat said that subsidies –on wheat, medicine and fuel–are largely “benefiting big merchants and mafias,” instead of poor Lebanese families who have been driven into poverty by a crippling economic crisis.

“The indiscriminate and ill-considered subsidies from which major merchants and mafias benefit from will blow away the foreign reserves and the basic foundations of existence,” said Jumblat in a tweet.

Lebanon’s central bank governor warned in August that the bank cannot continue using its foreign currency reserves to finance trade, signaling he may soon be unable to sustain subsidies on basic goods.

Jumblat also commented on the halted sea border demarcation talks between Lebanon and Israel, and the controversy over Lebanon’s overlapping maritime northern border with Syria.

“As for the maritime wealth, it may become common and exploited by Israel and Syria,” he said.



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