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Lebanon’s Corrupt Leaders are Responsible for the State’s Bankruptcy and the Accumulation of Public Debt

Lebanon is one of the most corrupt countries in the Arab region. Lebanon is geographically small in area, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, and ranks 138th (in terms of corruption) out of 180 countries around the world.

Over the past years, the apparent absence of powerful governance in the country has led to widespread corruption in most of its ministries and institutions, where patronage, bribes, waste, and the plundering of public money spread.

Lebanon is among the most indebted countries in the world and ranks third globally in the debt-to-GDP ratio, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Lebanon leaders abuse the economic and civil rights of the Lebanese people

Not only did those in power in Lebanon steal the Lebanese people’s money, impoverish them, and turn their monthly income into pennies that don’t buy them bread. They even gave the money depositors at the Lebanese banks a part of their money at less than a quarter of the black market exchange rate. Nevertheless, and in order to legalize their thefts, the State Council issued a decision “to pay part of the depositors’ money at the price of LS 3900” while the rolling price of the dollar versus the Lebanese pound exceeded 20,000.

The fact that the dollar is rising this way is a reported theft of Lebanese citizens in broad daylight. It hits a citizen’s savings simultaneously, on the one hand, the dollar’s increase to 23000 L.L eats both savings and salaries, and it leads to poverty. On the other hand, their dollar savings are “confiscated” by banks, through an undisclosed policy applied by the authority with no deterrent where they pay the depositors’ dollars at the rate of 1500 L.L instead of 23,000L.L. 

Lebanese leaders accumulated their own wealth by looting the State

Who stole the social security money that owes about $2 billion to the state?

What about the money invested by the Board of Escrow in treasury bonds that the State refuses to return? Isn’t that the money of the insured citizens and their pension savings?

Who stole the private hospital funds threatened to be closed? Private hospitals in the country have more than 2 thousand billion Lebanese pounds as debts owed by the state.

Who colluded in wasting more than 45 billion dollars of empty treasury in the electricity sector without any solution to date? And who committed all the pitches in the communications sector where the mutual accusations (between ruling political forces) of corruption and waste resemble fantasy movies?

Who stole the Lebanese money and their depositions in banks? Is it the banks or the successive governments, with legal coverage from the successive parliaments, which squandered the money of the Lebanese to accumulate their wealth and that of their officials and to finance their partisan and electoral machines?

Why did the successive governments and Parliaments not take any reform steps since the Paris conferences until today? And why did the corruption policies continue in electricity, communications, ports, and customs and tax evasion, until the treasury was emptied and accumulated the debts to the states? Their corruption has made them not pay deposits in banks to those who are entitled to it, to the policy of manipulating the dollar and converting employees’ pensions to a few dollars that do not secure their daily livelihood.

In 2018, French magazine “Observator”, according to Kalmia Online website, conducted a two-week study by 5 financial and budget specialists. The magazine wrote an 8-page report titled Lebanon’s $80 billion debt, the biggest financial scandal.

The report included how public funds had been stolen and wasted in Lebanon, an intentional deficit and failure of officials to address public debt for 30 years, until the beginning of 2018 at the time of preparation of the report. The magazine then asked how Syria’s   (Syria’s area is 18 times greater than that of Lebanon) cost $65 billion from electricity to water to the reconstruction of the demolished buildings, while Lebanon’s debt was $80 billion $ and no power plant had been established, no water pumping plant had been built for the regions, no establishment of new highways ….etc

The Lebanese State has been systematically robbed by the leaders of Lebanon and their followers for 40 years now, and “Lebanon is not poor but plundered! Billions of dollars are hidden and smuggled in personal accounts in Lebanon and the world.”

French newspaper Le Monde called what’s going on in Lebanon banks a “theft of the century,” referring to the freezing of millions of dollars in the owners’ accounts, without allowing them to dispose of their money. The newspaper continued that Lebanese depositors had resorted to justice to recover their money from banks, at a time when inflation exceeded 100 percent, and the national currency had lost 90 percent of its value against the dollar.

International community and United Nations should intervene to recover looted money and hold the perpetrators accountable

In accordance with the United Nations Convention against Corruption signed by Lebanon on 22 April 2009, the international community and the United Nations should undertake an initiative to recover looted funds and assets looted by rulers of the State. These looted funds affect all funds resulting from corruption, bribery, public transactions, waste and illegal acts in the concerned country. The United Nations is trying to compel countries to adopt a domestic legislation to recover the looted funds, convinced of the importance of these funds for the development of these countries, especially in the third world countries whose leaders abuse public money.

International community and United Nations should intervene to recover looted money and hold the perpetrators accountable

In accordance with the United Nations Convention against Corruption signed by Lebanon on 22 April 2009, the international community and the United Nations should undertake an initiative to recover looted funds and assets looted by rulers of the State. These looted funds affect all funds resulting from corruption, bribery, public transactions, waste, and illegal acts in the concerned country. The United Nations is trying to compel countries to adopt domestic legislation to recover the looted funds, convinced of the importance of these funds for the development of these countries, especially in the third world countries whose leaders abuse public money.

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