Opinion articles

Lebanon needs to clean up its act

Lebanon needs to clean up its act

Lebanon is once again staring down a waste management crisis, with news that the Costa Brava and Bourj Hammoud landfills will reach capacity in 2018—two years before the government’s initial estimate of 2020. In response, the cabinet is reportedly considering a proposal to reopen the infamous Naameh landfill, whose closure in 2015 sparked a crisis

Enough empty promises

Their crimes must not be forgiven again. For 11 years, Lebanese politicians spent some $130 billion without an audit. To pass the 2017 budget, our lawmakers defied the constitution by promising the audit will come next year instead of now. I’m not holding my breath. Let’s not lie to ourselves: Audits can be manipulated. We

Return to sanity now

After years without a state budget, Parliament met in October and voted the 2017 budget into law. What Parliament should have done is pass the 2018 budget, because the current fiscal year is almost over. There are also allegations that Parliament broke the law and violated the constitution: To pass a budget an audit must

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

License to steal

The Ottomans taught us too well. In exchange for a minimum level of freedom, the rulers of the Empire empowered (and armed) local leaders and tasked them with collecting taxes. Policy makers and stability maintaining were the domain of the central government in Constantinople. This worked brilliantly for the Empire, but in the case of

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

The oil & gas waiting game

On June 22, Israel’s energy ministry announced that the deadline to place bids in the country’s first offshore licensing round would be pushed back until November 2017. This is the second time the bid round, which opened in November 2016, saw its end date postponed. With the second extension, it became harder to believe the

Thanks, but no thanks

The long-awaited electoral law is out. And it’s rigged. The law that was supposed to be our hope for a better future was designed to keep our political class in power. Our democracy is in jeopardy, and we must fight back. Our political class is comprised largely of killers and thieves. They destroyed this country

A cautious revival

For the first time since the onset of the war in Syria, there is finally positive news coming from Lebanon’s hospitality sector. The election of a president and the formation of a government in late 2016, and the lack of major security incidents in Greater Beirut since the second half of 2015, have given Lebanon

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

Top