One year after Beirut explosion, EU tries to put pressure on Lebanese leaders
The port of Beirut, Lebanon, after the explosions of Tuesday, August 4, 2020. REUTERS / Mohamed Azakir
Text by: RFI Follow
Lebanon will commemorate next Wednesday the first anniversary of the explosion in the port of Beirut which caused the death of more than 200 people.
Since then, the economic crisis has deepened, becoming one of the worst the world has known since 1850 according to the World Bank.
The political crisis lasts: the Lebanese leaders have shown themselves incapable of agreeing to form a government.
International partners are trying to increase the pressure on the political class.
The European Union has now acquired a tool to try to influence the
: a legal framework adopted on Friday, July 30. This was a request from the Foreign Ministers of the 27 Member States. For the moment, no sanction has been announced, but Brussels brandishes the threat. The European Union is now in a position to do this if a government is not quickly put in place. After several failures, it is now
former Prime Minister Najib Mikati
who is responsible for building a team.
If they were to be taken, these European Union sanctions would target "
people and entities who are responsible for undermining democracy or the rule of law,
" said the statement released Friday in Brussels. People found to be responsible for the political blockage preventing the implementation of an aid plan necessary to restore the country's economy, may be banned from entering European territory or have their assets frozen.
France had already announced sanctions, claiming to restrict entry into its territory to certain political leaders.
But she did not specify who was targeted.
And these sanctions have so far had little effect.
The hope of European leaders is that by involving the 27 Member States, the measures will be more dissuasive.
But it will take a new Council of Foreign Ministers for sanctions to be decided and the next one is not expected until the end of September.
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