BASSIL After Bloc Meeting: We inquired Salameh About Questionable Transfers, Urged Him to Disclose Numbers
Tue 14 Jan 2020
Lebanon - Change and Reform bloc Head, caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, announced after the bloc meeting held this Tuesday that he had sent a letter to Central Bank Governor, Riad Salameh, on the money transfers and their discretionary nature, and "demanded that he discloses the numbers," expressing "willingness to cooperate."
He talked about a "discretion in dealing with citizens," deeming it unacceptable to prohibit people from making simple banking transactions while some "transfer hundreds of millions abroad."
Bassil said: "We were among those who demanded the inception of a rescue economic and financial plan. We have previously presented relevant plans, and today we also submitted a proposal to the concerned parties."
On the political reality, he said "we were meant to assert that we have never had a special [portfolio] request, except that of forming a government of salvation. And in light of the developments that took place today, we are further motivated to assume our responsibility, now more than ever."
"By virtue of our parliamentary responsibilities: we either grant confidence or withhold it, and the criterion is the ability to rescue [the country]. Neither did we previously choose [a candidate], nor will we name one today," he asserted.
Bassil stressed that "demanding the assumption of caretaking roles does not entail reviving the resigned government, nor should it delay the formation of the new government. What is required is a government that earns the confidence of the people, and we do not have the luxury of delay. Look where the people are today; every day of delay is deadly to us."
"The country cannot be reformed with the same economic and financial policy adopted over the past thirty years, and this is the priority. Words about quotas and 'blocking third' are groundless," the minister stressed.