The International Support Group for Lebanon is scheduled to take place in Paris, France today Wednesday, December 11, and aims to guide Lebanon to overcome its intensifying political and economic crises. Concurrently, Lebanese in France rallied in their cities in France to protest against the current government, and Lebanese protesters rallied in front of the French embassy in Beirut and addressed two letters to the French President Emmanuel Macron.
The first letter was signed by “Lebanon’s Revolutionaries.” It requested that the president prohibits any funds from being given to the current Lebanese government, “considering that this money would serve the corrupt ruling class and allow it to maintain its control over the country, further enriching itself by embezzling public funds.”
In addition to asking Macron to “freeze all financial support coming to this resigned government,” the revolutionaries listed six demands in the name of the Lebanese people, to be taken into consideration during the ISG for Lebanon.
The demands, which have been echoing in Lebanon’s sky for more than 50 days, included:
- The appointment of “an honest” Prime Minister and the formation of a government of independents and experts.
- The organization and scheduling of early parliamentary elections.
- Issuing the illicit enrichment law to track suspiciously gained money that has been largely transferred out of the country.
In contrast with the political voice of the first letter, the second letter had a more cultural tone and was written by the artists of Lebanon.
This letter assured President Macron that “our people are qualified and self-sufficient in all sectors, but the expansive corruption and the organized theft over a course of many years have left [the country] in a state of collapse.”
The authors of the letter thanked the French government and the international community for their support of Lebanon. But it also warned that any extra funds issued to Lebanon and its current authority will “arrive into the hands of the untrustworthy officials who built their fortunes on the account of the pains of the children of the nation.”
They then asserted: “This authority, after October 17th, no longer represents the Lebanese.” Addressing the French president, the letter continued: “We, Lebanese artists under the title ‘artists with the people,’ ask you to be cautious not to allow the aid to go to the pockets and treasuries of the authority figures and their henchmen.”
Instead, they urged President Macron to postpone the financial aid and provide it later on to a future authority, born of just and clean elections, and worthy of the people’s trust.
Lebanon has been living its worst in economic and living condition’s hardships, particularly this past year, which triggered the onset of the revolution. That while the meeting hosted in France last year led to $11 billion donated to Lebanon with the sole purpose of assisting it in economic recovery and implementing a set of structural and economic reforms. Instead, the economy has plummeted, reforms haven’t been seen, and Lebanon is in a state of agony.