Opinion articles

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

Endless

Executive confesses to nonsense fatigue. Our editors are tired of platitudes about the banking sector. If we hear one more locution implying that the Lebanese economy’s doom is inevitable, or another hackneyed phrase about a banking sector that is trying to resist bad economic tides to the best of its ability while continuing to develop

Backstabbing bastards — ROUND 5

The political whisper campaign against Riad Salameh and the gross mishandling of his term renewal by our political class put our monetary and economic stability in jeopardy. Salameh is the last of a post-war cohort that — love them or hate them — were truly faithful to the concept of nation building. Everywhere else, the

Russian expansionism

There’s no shortage of headlines about Russia’s grand design for the East Mediterranean gas resources. An unrealistic understanding of the strategic significance of these resources and the role they could play in weaning Europe away from Russian gas fuels these claims. In reality, we have yet to see a Russian breakthrough in the upstream oil

Don’t sweat the details

After a rocky start that saw a several-year delay of the sector’s development as a result of political squabbling, in late April the Lebanese Ministry of Energy and Water (MoEW) announced the oil and gas companies that will be eligible to bid for offshore exploration licenses in late. Executive lauds this milestone and hopes the

Self absorbed

Donkeys deserve more respect than they get. For some 5,000 years, humans have been using them as strong, reliable beasts of burden. We’ve made progress on the backs of these noble creatures, yet denounce them for a strength of will we praise in ourselves. Intransigence is in the eye of the taskmaster, it seems. Donkeys

The donkey strategy

A scantily clad singer belts out another frivolous song, and not only does her video clip get banned, she has her travel privileges revoked. A university blogger dares to criticize the system only to find himself officially ostracized and harassed. As this is taking place, a former head of Lebanon’s telecommunications company, himself under investigation

Taxation without representation

For 12 years running, Lebanon has been without a budget. This does not mean the state hasn’t been collecting revenue and spending it. Rather, it means there have been no clear-cut priorities, nor a strategic vision guiding how the government manages taxing and spending. During the past five years, the problem of finding revenue to

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