Lebanon Will Cut Spending To Keep Subsidies On Bread And Essential Medicine

TDS/Hasan Shaaban

On Tuesday, Lebanon’s caretaker ministers vowed to draft a plan to cut spending in order to prioritize subsidies on bread and essential medicine. 

The decision was made during a meeting on subsidy rationing with Central Bank governor Riad Salameh, in which the caretaker government stressed that subsidies on some basic goods should not be removed. 

According to Salameh, the Central Bank could not keep subsidies for much longer. Salameh himself is being summoned for questioning over wasted subsidies this week. 

On Monday, riots erupted across Lebanon to protest against lifting subsidies, which the UN has warned will lead to a “social catastrophe.”

Meanwhile, after weeks of bitterness, President Aoun and Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri finally restarted discussions to form a government that will unlock financial support for the crisis-ridden country.

On Monday, Hariri presented his draft Cabinet lineup and the pair are due to meet again on Wednesday to discuss further.

Some believe that Aoun will reject Hariri’s draft over differences relating to the division of ministers.

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Photo: Instagram President Michel Aoun

On the other hand, others expect that Lebanon will have a new government by the next visit of French President Emmanuel Macron before Christmas.

The French President is quite disgruntled by the inertia of the ruling class in the face of the current disaster in Lebanon. He did not hold back during the international aid conference and it is expected that he would be firmer this time with the decision-makers during his visit.