Thursday, November 24, 2005

Domestic Lebanese Affairs - a needed distraction for all

The following dailystar article caught my attention: Azour warns EDL subsidy can lead to VAT increase. Three themes emerged from the article as I was reading through it:

  1. Lebanese policy discourse is finally presenting people with rational choices: higher taxes or increased energy subsidies. It is high time Lebanese realized that they can't have it both ways, or rather, every which way that exists.

  2. Hizballah is increasingly being sucked into domestic political issues. Since its activities are no longer limited to criticizing government as an outsider, it is now participating in the search for solutions. Two major issues have put Energy Minister Fneish on the spotlight: diesel and now energy subsidies. This development is good. We need to see more of it.

  3. And finally, all this politicking that is taking place in Lebanon has come at the expense of real, concrete initiatives directed at solving the real problems that Lebanon currently faces. What I mean by polititicking is limited to the Lahoud's presidency and Hizballah's new role in Lebanon. Because of the political paralysis that has come about because of these two issues, the mandate of this government might actually come to an end without scoring any large achievements in either administrative or economic affairs. That would be a shame - especially since Seniora has shown such potential as a statesman.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know that poor people in Lebanon can't afford paying their bills, but the electricity must not be subsidized. THe government doesn't have enough money to ivest in social spendings. The debt is going to explode one of these days if nothing is done about it. SOcial spendings are good when they are viable in the long term only.

Postponing reforms would only worsen the economy and at the end, poor people will be the first to suffer. What do you think that will happen to them when the state go bankrupt, Argentina-style? If you really care about the poors, then you must advocate policies that will lead to economic growth.