The new cabinet held yesterday at Baabda palace its first meeting, headed by the President of the Republic, Mr. Elias Al-Hrawi, and attended by the Prime Minister, Mr. Rafiq Al-Hariri, as well as all ministers.
After dealing with some aspects of the regional situation, the president made the point about the governmental statement, which should handle the living issue as well as the administrative reform.
Minister Essabeh declared that afterwards a committee was constituted to prepare the governmental statement, including the vice-prime Minister, Mr. Michel El-Murr as its head, besides the secretary of state, Mr. Fares Bweiz, the Minister of State for Industrial Affairs, Mr. Nadim Salem, the Minister of Justice, Mr. Bahij Tabbara, the Minister of Industry and Oil, Mr. Chaheh Barsomyan, the Minister of Environment, Mr. Akram Choheib and the Minister of Information, Mr Basem Essabeh.
When leaving, Minister Walid Jounblat declared that the Minister of Environment, Mr. Akram Choheib would represent the progressive party within the committee on setting the governmental statement.
At about 11:45 yesterday, a memorial picture was taken to all ministers, along with the three Presidents Al-Hrawi, Al Hariri and Berreh.
During an interview with the kuwait newspaper "Arrayeh El-Aam" (Public Opinion), the Minister of Dislodged People Mr. Walid Jounblat continued his campaign against the prime Minister, Mr. Rafiq Al-Hariri. Describing the new Cabinet as a corrupted one, he declared president Al-Hariri wanted to hold all sectors in the country. He called the opposition representatives not to dissimulate the dangerous situation, because otherwise it might worsen.
Jounblat also added that the reconstruction process itself occurring by means of a wide privatization, was not enough, namely because these private companies which are rebuilding infrastructure were exempted from taxes.
He demanded to review the audio-visual media laws, for oppression wouldn't but reinforce the opposition currents, adding that he was ready to coordinate with christian opposition leaders, such as Mr. Raymond Eddeh and Mr Dory Chamoun.
Jounblat also asked to cease the bank secrecy, so that all officials assets would be known, according to the law of illegal enrichment "where from?".
Minister Marwan Hamadeh handled over the Ministry of Public Health to Minister Soleiman Franjieh, who said that he would learn from Minister Hamadeh, for the achievements he made within the Ministry of Public Health were not reached by any other Minister of Public Health before.
Hamadeh, on the other hand, declared he was confident the Ministry would be in safe hands, and even in the hands of a young man, enthusiastic to help the Lebanese people. Afterwards a closed meeting was held between Franjieh and Hamadeh, joined after a while by Minister Talal Erslan, who came to congratulate his friend, Soleiman Franjieh.
The Ministry of Environment was yesterday handed over by Minister Pierre Faraoun to Minister Akram Choheib.
During a speech he delivered, Minister Faraoun wished success to the new Minister, especially that the latter was determined, once appointed as Minister of Environment, to deal with toxic waste issues, and to set a law which would organize importing industrial substances. He added that his Ministry was concerned with other environmental problems such as quarries, causing damage to nature and environment.
Minister Choheib reaffirmed, on the other hand the importance of his Ministry. He added that there would be no tolerance about dangerous issues, for he want to have a clean environment in Lebanon.
* President Al-Hariri inaugurated yesterday the second regional conference for developing telecommunications in the Arab countries, held at Bristol Hotel and organized by the International telecommunications Federation. It was attended by Arab and international delegations, members of the International telecommunications Federation, representing 60 countries, representatives of local and international telecommunication companies, besides the Minister of Technical Education, Mr. Farouq El-Barbir, the former Minister, El-Fadl Chalaq, the general director of investment and maintenance in the Lebanese telecommunication Ministry, Dr Abd El-Menhem Yousef and other employees. During a speech he delivered, president Al-Hariri reaffirmed the government priority was to deal with social problems, noting that handling this crisis would be easier by keeping up the reconstruction process.
* The head of the staff union of Qadicha's hydroelectric plant, Mr. Esber Ekkary reaffirmed, during a general assembly of the union held yesterday that if the Ministry of Labour does not grant them their legal rights within two weeks, they will be going to have strike.
* In order to safeguard forests and protect roads, nature and underground water sources, the Mouhafez of the Mount of Lebanon, Mr. Mohammed Soheil Yammout issued a series of decisions meant to shut off immediately all quarries belonging to Sogeco in Majidal Tarchich, Caza El-Matn as well as the sand quarry belonging to Gerges Fares and Georgette Labaqi, in El-Mtein, Caza El-Matn.
The delegation of the Lebanese Kick-Boxing federation came back yesterday from Prague, after participating in the adults world championship and youngsters world cup of Semi-Contact, organized by the International Organization of Kick-Boxing, on October 25th, 26th, and 27th 1996.
The Lebanese delegation recorded the following results:
A ) Youngsters category
1-weight 35klg: Antoine Abi Ghanem won over Kirshman, the German, but he was beaten by the Canadian Pierre Alory.
2-weight 40 klg : Wael Bou Kroum was won over by the English Vincent Brain.
3-weight 45 klg: Simon Maalouf failed against the Canadian Cedric Minerd.
4-Weight 50 klg: Omar Errayyes won over the Austrian Tlafos and the Croatian Arba Nincec.
5-weight 55 klg: Ali Zaytoun failed against the Turquish Maousadi, while Mahmoud Majed wonover the Hungarian Yorgi.
6-weight above 55 klg: Chadi Eddahouq failed against the world champion the Hungarian Yorgi Hamoury.
b) Adults Category:
1-weight 60 klg : Tareq Zeytoun was won over by the Croatian Bacec.
2-weight 67 klg : Ahmed El-Halabi won over Cogal, the Turquish.
3-weight 71 klg: Hicham Barazi was won over by the Irishman Jugun.
4-weight 75 klg : Elie Afif was also won over by Zupeck, the Austrian.
5-weight 91 klg : Fadi Abou Zaki failed against the Turquish Cosey, who ranked 4th.
6-weight above 91 klg : Rida Musulmani won over the Coratian Chrystel and the Canadian Ikman, but he lost against the Italian, Matranka, who ranked fourth.
A delegation of the Lebanese federation for physical education left to the Jordanian capital, Amman, in order to participate in the 50th world championship of body-building, to be held between October 12th and 16th 1996, as well as in the conference of the International Federation for body-building.
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