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FRIDAY, 18 APR 2014
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Maronite bishops slam government, warn Lebanon might collapse
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DIMAN, Lebanon: The Council of Maronite Bishops launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Najib Mikati's government Wednesday, warning that the deteriorating economic situation and lack of decision-making could lead to Lebanon's collapse.

The “deep political divisions ... lack of a clear, unified vision ... putting personal and sectarian interests before national interests ... lack of respect for the rules of democracy ... the adoption of malicious policies ... and reciprocal crippling [acts] ... lead to paralysis,” the bishops said at the end of their monthly meeting in Diman, north Lebanon.

“In the presence of the enormous dangers of collapse and failure to reach a social-national agreement, the Bishops issue a big warning – the risk that this failure could coincide with major political changes taking place in the region and could, God forbid, lead to the spark that could lead Lebanon to collapse,” said the bishops.

The bishops cited the electricity crisis, the accumulation of public debt, the worsening corruption in government institutions and the adoption of incomplete economic policies as being the main reasons behind the economic disaster.

A standoff between Energy Minister Gebran Bassil and Electricite Du Liban contract workers, who are backed by Speaker Nabih Berri, has escalated in recent days.

EDL warned Monday that the country could face a nationwide blackout if contract workers do not end their “takeover” of the state-run company’s headquarters in Beirut.

The three-month strike by EDL contract workers demanding full-time employment has resulted in blackouts in recent weeks in a number of areas across Lebanon.

 
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