Lebanon: Mikati government meets for the first time in three months

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, during a press conference in Beirut on December 28, 2021. © Dalati Nohra, AP

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1 min

In Lebanon, the Council of Ministers is meeting on the morning of Monday January 24 after more than three months of blockage due to political differences concerning the investigation into the double explosion at the port of Beirut in August 2020. This meeting comes as the The country's socio-economic collapse has been going on for more than two years.

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With our correspondent in Beirut,

Paul Khalifeh

Formed

on September 10

, the government of Najib Mikati has not been convened since October 12, due to the refusal of its Shiite components to take part in meetings.

Hezbollah and the Amal movement demanded the replacement of the judge in charge of the investigation into the

double explosion at the port of Beirut

, Tarek Bitar,

accused of being " 

selective

 " and " 

politicized

 "

.

The magistrate is still in place even if his investigation is stalling.

But the Shiites still lifted their veto at the cabinet meeting.

Their reversal is explained by the urgency of the economic and social situation

which is deteriorating day by day

.

Monday morning's meeting will also be devoted to socio-economic issues: temporary social aid to civil servants, increase in daily transport allowances and other palliative measures.

The most important file on the table of the Council of Ministers will however be the draft budget for the year 2022. Its approval is a necessary condition in the context of

negotiations with the International Monetary Fund

(IMF).

Because Lebanon wishes to obtain from the IMF an aid of ten billion dollars to try to revive its economy.

Even before being examined, the draft budget is already under fire from critics.

It features steep increases in taxes and duties and no wage increases.

To read and listen also: 

Lebanon: economic, political and army crisis, the testimony of a special forces soldier

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  • Lebanon

  • Najib Mikati

  • Economy

  • Social issues

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