Lebanon News

Lebanon's Arabic press digest - May 12, 2012

Arabic press digest.

Following are summaries of some of the main stories in a selection of Lebanese newspapers Saturday. The Daily Star cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports.


Nasrallah for proportionality, ignores government deadlock

Although the speech given by Hezbollah's Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah Friday night in Beirut's southern suburbs was characterized by its focus on the political side of the parliamentary elections and the elections law, it was clear that the majority has begun rounds of discussions aimed at overcoming the Cabinet crisis during the upcoming Cabinet session.

Ministerial sources close to the March 8 coalition and the centrist parties told An-Nahar that Nasrallah chose not to talk about the crisis since efforts were under way to resolve it.

Despite the fact that sources did not indicate clear signs of a possible way out of the crisis, they said that efforts will intensify in the next couple of hours. They added that any resolution would be achieved through the consensus of the president, speaker and prime minister.


Nasrallah hints at hitting targets in Tel Aviv and March 14 considers his speech an Iranian response to the Israeli government

Leading figures in the March 14 coalition said that Nasrallah insists on making Lebanon vulnerable by again violating U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 with his talk that his party is stronger and more capable in addition to his implication of hitting new targets in Tel Aviv and anywhere else in occupied Palestine.

He did however say in 2006 that he refrained from targeting Tel Aviv to protect Lebanon's capital, so what changed now to make Lebanon susceptible to Israeli strikes?

Is this talk aimed at intimidating Beirut residents or is it a response to the Future Movement's rally to mark the May 7 events?

He spoke about this occasion using the same justifications he used then which do not justify the use of his weapons whose sole purpose is to overpower the Lebanese and hijack the Lebanese political decision.


The 'honest vow' makes [Beirut's] 'southern suburb' more beautiful than it used to be

Nasrallah: Terrorism hits Syria through discord...and we support proportionality and a single [electoral] district

Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said that Hezbollah supports holding elections on time and ignored the Cabinet's reality, announcing that his party supports proportionality and Lebanon as a single electoral district. He stressed the importance of elections and an electoral law but said the issue required patience and study, and that time is on our side although it seems Lebanon has entered Parliamentary Elections.

Nasrallah hopes his Lebanese counterparts do not shut the door on the possibility of discussing an electoral law, saying that no law will affect the party's representation.

Nasrallah addressed former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and said: "You don't want elections with the presence of arms, meaning you don't want the elections at all? Because arms are staying."

"If I wanted to impose an electoral list, would I do so with a 'Zelzal' missile?"


Mikati tries to promote "his rate" about growth but fails

The government: Standard bundle of bread sold at LL2,000

Amid internal disputes, the Cabinet added another "achievement" to its record by deciding to raise the price of a standard bundle of bread loaves to LL2,000.

Head of the Bakeries' Union Kazem Ibrahim said that the government [initially] refused to sell a bundle weghing 1,200 grams for LL2,000 but then understood that we were right so it made the pack weigh 1,200 grams and will not be sold at LL2,000.

The Cabinet's proposal to reduce the pack's size to 900 grams from 1,200 will not save us much.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Najib Mikati was surprised during a discussion at the Arab Economic Forum when Al-Mustaqbal's suspicion of the growth rate he announced two days ago surfaced.

Mikati responded to someone who talked about Al-Mustaqbal's suspicion of the 5 percent growth achieved in Lebanon in 2011, saying that the percentage was true although economists and the International Monetary Fund have also raised doubts about the 5 percent rate asking for clarifications.





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