It was clear during French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit that Lebanon’s politicians, for whatever reason, were very eager to work with him and comply with his requests for reforms and a quick government formation.
One of the indicators for this eagerness was the swift presentation, by the leaders of some of the biggest parliamentary blocs, of reform plans outlining the necessary procedures that would supposedly proceed in the near future.
The papers listed many promising procedures and projects, including every Lebanese citizen’s dream: 24/7 electricity.
They also propose solutions to other significant problems, including the launch of a financial rescue plan with which Lebanon can unjam its negotiations with the International Monetary Fund.
Conducting a forensic audit of the Banque du Liban’s accounts is another item on the long list of reform procedures, and so is, in that regard, the passing of the legislation that entails the restructuring of Lebanon’s banking sector.
Furthermore, the reform papers presented to Macron tackle the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes, the start-up of Liban Telecom (the merger of Ogero and two directorates of the Telecommunications Ministry), and the provision of a social safety net.
Waste management, issuing an updated budget, executing the full economic reforms plan, closing the files that are wasting public funds, establishing economic and industrial areas, and transforming Lebanon into a secular state were also listed in the papers.
The list goes on with important procedures that the Lebanese have become familiar with but unoptimistic about, considering how many times they’ve heard them read out but not followed through with.
This time, under the looming threat of sanctions hinted at by President Macron, the big-name Lebanese politicians apparently stand before two options: Reforms or painful sanctions.