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Beirut.com 05 Dec 2019

Lebanese Ministries Locked Down By Activists Last Night

Last night, several Lebanese governmental institutions were “locked down” by activists, in protest of their rampant corruption.

The activists used glue on the keyholes to keep the buildings closed “until an independent transitional government is formed”, and put out a notice, explaining in detail why each institution had been locked down. Here are some of the reasons:

1. The Ministry of Finance:

– The Lebanese state has spent $84 billion in interest payments to banks for over 26 years.
– Taxes equivalent to $2 billion were not collected from banks, aside from an additional amount of $6 billion owed to the state.
– Between 1993 and 2018, the state collected taxes worth $149 billion and borrowed an additional $86.3 billion. Where did the money go?

2. The Association of Banks in Lebanon:

– Lebanese banks imposed capital control illegally and ambiguously, opposing instructions from the Central Bank.
– Liquidity provided by BDL was used to facilitate the transfer of large depositors’ funds outside Lebanon.
– Bank owners moved all their money abroad with the beginning of the crisis.
– Bank profits were distributed to shareholders instead of securing liquidity for depositors’ funds.

3. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants:

– Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent annually on unnecessary embassies and consulates.
– Politicians’ trips and travels are fully covered by the state treasury. Many of these expenditures are for personal purposes that do not fall under their official responsibilities.

4. The Ministry Of Public Works:

– Lebanon’s Railway and Public Transportation Authority is still state-funded, despite the lack of any functional trains in the country for over 20 years.
– Turning a blind eye to the abuse of public property with illegal projects like Eden Bay Resort.

Activists also targeted the Ministry of Energy and Water, Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Industry, and the General Confederation of Lebanese Workers.