On the morning of March 2nd, Prime Minister Hassan Diab had some choice words to say about Lebanon’s situation in his speech addressing the members of the consular corps at the Grand Serail.
He starts by introducing how the issues facing Lebanon are threatening the people’s livelihoods and their economic stability.
He then says: “We don’t hold illusions. Rather, we hold hope. We share in the belief of the people that the time for change has come and we cannot go back.”
He emphasized that the “fight against corruption is a national goal” and began to elaborate on the demands of the people, such as stopping the squandering of public funds and fixing Lebanon’s infrastructure.
He addressed President Aoun saying: “Honorable President, you and the members of this government held the ball of fire and the responsibility to face the collapse.”
He then added: “In the interest of justice and fairness, there is a need for cooperation so that the ship doesn’t sink. Our consciences must become awake and our patriotism must overcome personal interests in these sensitive times so that we see the light of Lebanon’s resurrection.”
Throughout his speech, Diab seems to adopt a view that is at once critical of the government but also hopeful about Lebanon’s future.
However, there were things that he said that seemed to confirm the belief of every Lebanese citizen who has been protesting in the last 5 months.
Towards the end of his speech, he says: “In all honesty, this government is no longer able, in these circumstances, to protect the Lebanese and ensure a good standard of living for them. To put it bluntly, this government has lost the trust of the Lebanese.”
He went on to elaborate on the corruption and sectarianism that is plaguing Lebanon’s current political and legal system.
Diab promises that, in the coming days, there will be intense negotiations for the government to take a decision on how to handle the crisis.