The Lebanese political class looks vulgarly conniving when it collectively promotes an International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal as a finality while their real intentions lay against it. What is even more bewildering is how contagious this fake stance is. It has infected every speech or media appearance among even the most reformist Lebanese economists, analysts and journalists.
For more than twenty years, this magazine has been advocating tirelessly for similar reforms as the IMF and the international community. As Lebanon’s best global advisors have been saying on many occasions, like during the CEDRE conference in April 2018, we also consider that institutional, judicial, fiscal and monetary reforms are useless unless coupled with an ambitious strategy that put our assets to good use. A strategy that could provide public services; creating and growing value in an inclusive, responsible and transparent manner.
Gullible is whoever thinks that this mob ruling the country has any intention to embark on any type of reforms. Their performance since the beginning of the crisis and the masquerades we have been witnessing at parliament since the election, says it all. Correspondingly, the lack of leadership, purpose or vision from successive governments is proof that we had cabinets that are incapable of presenting a serious strategy. One that promises to institute a governance program which would allow state owned enterprises to devise and adopt stratagems capable of delivering basic services, which the citizen desperately needs.
Our dysfunctional state-owned enterprises are precious to our politicians. It is where they have been employing their cronies and nourishing their captive electorates with a license to steal, reinforced by a disgusting sense of religious and sectarian self-entitlement and impunity. The lack of basic public services allows the parallel economy to flourish; depriving the citizen of any reliable facilities and exposing them to prohibitive costs. No wonder reforms are dismissed, rejected and made unattainable.
The good news is that in Lebanon socioeconomic conditions are stimulated by private sector adaptability and performance rather than by the public sector. Public policies have always had a downward pressure on social factors, while the private sector has an agility and readiness to embark on corporate transformation and embrace innovative solutions to retain value and pursue strategies which can sustain healthy earnings.
The Lebanese media – the most vulnerable – industry has expressed its need to embark on corporate transformation and will to challenge the local conditions that work against its own vocation and purpose. Executive Magazine captured their needs and requests, while documenting the gaps which need to be addressed in a report published in this issue.
It is crucial that independent media companies are able to continue to defend freedom and democracy by providing independent unbiased content which upholds accountability, not impunity and manipulation.
Now that is a finality worth fighting for.