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Hit list vs. reforms list

by Yasser Akkaoui

At George Hawi¹s funeral, nearly everyone in the front pew of the church had lost a loved one to murder or assassination. The list included Giselle Khoury, Walid Jumblatt, Solange and Amine Gemayel, Saad and Bahia Hariri and Nayla Mouawad. One could not help but wonder whether each of them had been reminded once again of their personal loss. Add to that the pain suffered by the Franjiehs, the Karamis, the Chamouns, not to forget Sitrida Geagea, with her husband Samir Geagea still in jail, and the Lebanese political scene becomes one filled only with loss.

The murder of kings has been common practice in the history of nations. Next to divide et impera, the Roman method of oppression, killing leaders has been an effective way for ruthless nations to subjugate people.

But we are interested in economics and not in assassinations. Here, the mood of corporate Lebanon and among regional and worldwide investors with a heart for this country is getting restless. Much more mature than the strictly small-time political players who fail to look further than the last house in their village, are the crème of Lebanophile investors and professionals who want to see Lebanon move forward. They have a much clearer vision for Lebanon¹s recovery and know that in the end it will be the Lebanese people, not their politicians or any foreign power, which will keep this country going.

Once they regained their sovereignty, the Lebanese resumed what they do best: consuming and investing. This is what brought back the confidence of Arab and international investors to Lebanon, which manifested itself in a rally in Solidere shares to levels that had been out of reach for six years.

We need to keep this momentum going. While we have heard so much empty rhetoric from our political leaders, in light of the dire state of the country¹s economy, they must start implementing reforms immediately.

We elected the new parliament; we gave them our trust. Now they must show us what they are made of.

We are watching.

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Yasser Akkaoui

Yasser Akkaoui is Executive's editor-in-chief.

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