Leaders articles

Double taDouble taxation will kill the banksxation

Don’t kill the banks

Don’t kill the banks

In order to fund the proposed public sector wage hike, Lebanon’s Parliament is scrounging for cash. In their desperation, lawmakers have proposed one of the most morally hazardous ideas in public finance: taxing some profits twice. Not only is this an unfair idea, it is fiscally irresponsible and blatantly lacking in forethought. Double taxation is

Lebanese President Michel Sleiman reviews the honor guard as he leaves the presidential palace in Baabda on May 24, 2014

Let the people decide

In 1811, French philosopher Joseph de Maistre wrote that “every nation gets the government it deserves.” Clearly, our nation deserves better than what it has at the moment. Parliament has yet again failed the Lebanese people by not electing a president before the expiration of Michel Sleiman’s term. One role of MPs is to deliberate,

A protester holds up a sign "#NoLawNoVote"

Open the doors of Parliament

There is an old British adage about the frustrations of everyday life. “You wait an hour for a bus,” the saying goes, “and then three come along all at once.” In the first week of April, after going over a year without passing a single bill, Lebanon’s expired Parliament reconvened and jolted the body politic

Buildings under the old rent law stand next to new competition.

Rent law reform is needed

President Michel Sleiman announced he would not sign the rent law on May 7, 2014. The following leader appeared in Executive’s print edition on May 1. Last month, Lebanon’s Parliament almost consigned to history one of the country’s most archaic laws. The old rent law artificially holds down the rents of tens of thousands of

Tourism in Baalbeck may increase after new security measures

Fix it and they will come

The received wisdom goes something like this: Tourism is a mainstay of the Lebanese economy, and the country, rich in history, climate and culture, could attract even more tourists if the stars aligned properly. More tourists would equal more cash inflows, which in turn could help an insolvent government while enriching the average Lebanese person.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres in Lebanon

Syria’s refugees: Lower the drawbridge

When the top representatives of the world’s international bodies arrived in Beirut last month, they had a clear message to convey. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres and Anthony Lake, the executive director of UNICEF, were desperate to urge people and governments to extend more help to the victims of the Syrian civil war.

The risk of political violence in Lebanon has grown

Lebanon needs a political violence risk pool

With the recent slew of bombings further entangling Lebanon in the Syrian civil war, political violence insurance in the country is becoming increasingly sought after, as hotels, banks and malls are seeking to protect their assets. This is paired with international reinsurers becoming increasingly weary to underwrite risks in the present volatile situation, resulting in

Don’t stop now

If Lebanese parliamentarians were school children, they would long ago have been expelled en masse. Far from merely forgetting to do their homework, they have been skipping class for an entire year; prior to this week the last law they passed was back in 2012. So the very fact that they finally got together to

Lebanon’s new government: A focused approach

If five men in a car had only moments to escape a tornado approaching in the rear view mirror, the last thing you would expect them to do would be argue over directions. Yet this is effectively what the Lebanese government spent much of the month doing. Faced with the realistic possibility of the country