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Lebanon’s fiscal conundrum

Lebanon’s fiscal conundrum

There are two arguments being made today. Both agree the state should maximize its share of benefit, though they do not agree on what is the maximum benefit achievable. Some aim for a bid round that is as competitive as more comparable bid rounds—while others demand a greater level of state participation. While it is

Icing on the cake

It came at the last minute. For two years, the Ministry of Finance and the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA) have been drafting a tax law focused specifically on the oil and gas industry. In late September, Parliament approved it just in time for the law to potentially govern the first oil and gas exploration and

Tick tock

Some view it as a race against Israel Our neighbor—which is definitively not stealing Lebanon’s gas—closes its first offshore licensing round on November 15. Israel had previously awarded exploration licenses directly.Lebanon just postponed the close of its own first round—yet again—from September 15 to October 12. The new deadline, however, actually seems to have been

Program for a nation or national myth?

The egg as symbol of rebirth is powerful. It can inspire. In the case of Lebanon, the egg is more than a representation of fertility because it plays into the enduring myth that the constituents of this nation will rise from the ashes of their destruction. This myth also conceals a warning and question, however:

The anti-establishment

As a nation, Lebanon was doomed from the start. This is the unifying theme of the mainstream anti-establishment message. The country’s sectarian power-sharing arrangement spawned a cancer that prevented the growth of a national identity and crippled state institutions. Today, a “leader” in Lebanon cannot rally the nation. He can rally his community, or a

Taxation’s redistribution effect

Alain Bifani, director general of Lebanon’s finance ministry, tells Executive that newly enacted taxation will shore up revenue in the public coffer. During an interview at the end of August (before the constitutional court froze the new tax measures) Bifani detailed the tax measures and discussed their impact on segments of the population and on

It’s about our purses

As Lebanon celebrates its recent military victory over Islamic State fighters on this side of the Lebanese-Syrian border and mourns over the recovered bodies of nine army soldiers, local politicians are again embroiled in another battle of sorts: one over taxation. After many months vacillating over whether or not to issue new taxes, lawmakers agreed

At long last…

While some of the terminology is the same, in 2018 Lebanon will have an electoral system unlike anything it has ever seen. The new electoral law, approved by Parliament in June, features changes to electoral districts and introduces two new components: proportional representation (PR) and preferential voting. It is certainly more complicated than the electoral

A law is born

Since appointing the National Commission on Parliamentary Electoral Law (the Fouad Boutros Commission) in 2005, Lebanese politicians have been “working” on an electoral law that employs proportional representation (PR), a system that allocates seats in Parliament based on the percentage of votes a candidate list receives. PR is more representative than a majoritarian or first-past-the-post

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