Lebanon News

Lebanon's Arabic press digest - July 5, 2014

Lebanon's Arabic press digest.

The following are a selection of stories from Lebanese newspapers that may be of interest to Daily Star readers. The Daily Star cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports.


Renewed airstrikes on Arsal, foreign readiness to better control borders

The Syrian regime’s airstikes on several valleys in the outskirts of Arsal raised questions about the purpose of such a development whilst there are contradictory opinions inside the Lebanese government on how to deal with the Syrian refugee crisis. Political sources have not ruled out that the attacks could have been aimed at pressuring the government to open a line of negotiation with the Syrian regime, something Damascus' allies in Lebanon have called for.

Ministerial sources told An-Nahar that the Cabinet is determined to strengthen measures along the Syrian border in the northern Bekaa to prevent a possible Iraq-style scenario. Security agencies have received the backing of foreign intelligence in order to better control the borders. The same backing has helped Lebanon foil several terrorist attacks.


Who is trying to sponsor ISIS in Lebanon?

"Lebanon is not an isolated island. Lebanon is in the eye of the storm. What military institutions have to deal with is something that bigger countries with expertise and military abilities cannot handle," a Lebanese official said.

The official said there were attempts, backed by regional, international and local parties, to create an ISIS backing in Lebanon by taking advantage of the fragile political system and the greed of some self-interested politicians, who will run after their personal and party interests regardless of the harm wrought to Lebanon's makeup, society and role.

"What happened in Mosul and the collapse of the Iraqi Army was destined to happen in Lebanon, particularly in Tripoli and the north but divine intervention safeguarded Lebanon and the Lebanese: first, through a regional understanding that helped form a new government, and second through the sacrifices of the Army and security agencies despite allegations and campaigns against them."

The official said it was lucky that the militant attempt to takeover Qalamoun failed. The purpose of eliminating borders between Syria and Lebanon was tied into the plan to eliminate borders between Iraq and Syria, which was to be followed by an ISIS takeover.


No salaries for civil servants!

Lebanon is facing another major crisis: the inability of the state to pay the salaries of public sector employees. Al-Akhbar has learned that Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil has informed the Cabinet that no public sector employee or a contract worker would receive their salaries at the end of July.

The reason is the lack of a legal cover to spend money. Khalil said that the money was available but there is no legality to spend any while Parliament has not yet approved a single draft state budget since 2005.

The principle by which the previous government legitimized spending is not enough to cover general expenditures, Khalil said.

He also said that the only way to do so is to have Parliament issue a special law or to approve the state budget, insisting that no ministry will receive a loan.





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