The 1998 draft fiscal budget is now before the parliament's finance and budget committee which will begin its review in short coming days. The draft budget faced a hard turmoil until it was endorsed by the government, but the recent political understanding that has prevailed among the officials would pave the ground for it at the parliament.
The parliament would center on two points including the strict abide by the average deficit that was decided and also will argue the attached table of charges and taxes. The table of charges would be smoothly passed because it was a proposed alternative for the gasoline price increase. Premier Hariri is due to arrive today from his holiday in Paris and Geneva. He will stop in Damascus before coming back to Beirut.
A meeting between the house speaker and the prime minister is expected upon the arrival of Mr. Hariri.
The parliament finance and budget committee's head MP Khalil Hrawi said the understanding reached on the draft budget won't put an end to the economical crisis.
Walid Jumblat minister of displaced , after he attended the parliament housing and displaced committee, said his ministry will continue functioning but without the needed money.
House speaker Nabih Berri continued to woo the prime minister. At a conference of the Islamic Message Scouts organization of the AMAL movement, he praised the success of the government, "which passed the test of being an executive institution through which agreement or disagreement on any plan or project is run in a democratic way".
He called for dialogue on the national policies, restricting expenditures and enhancing revenues. Mr. Berri reiterated his rejection to indirect taxes because we need to support the middle class. He said any suggestion or national political plan that touch on the life, future, work and production of the citizens, should pass on after the approval of the parliament and the society groups, so that the people can control their life and not to remain hostage to internal and external debt.
Prime minister's circles said they consider Berri's words as support to the budget that was passed last Friday. The circles said the government will continue dialogue with concerned parties.
The spiritual leader of HAMAS sheikh Ahmad Yassine told a Lebanese leading daily he is returning to his home in Gaza by God will. He assured that there are no barriers facing his return to his homeland to stand beside his sons and brothers. He told the daily Israel has signed a pledge on his return and on returning back his identity "and if they breach the pledge they have to deal with King Hussein". He said during his Eight and half years prison he was in contact with the outside world and was informed of what Hamas was doing.
He said a Jewish cleric visited him once at his jail and asked him to sign a pledge to give up violence so that he will be released, but he refused the offer and insisted to continue the violent struggle until all rights in Palestine, from the sea to river, return back. Asked on his words speaking on coexistence between two states, a Palestinian and Jewish, sheikh Yassine said the coexistence with the Jews can be realized only by living with the Muslims as "people of Zimmah" same as in the time of prophet Mohammad, "because they can't live with us otherwise".
Sheikh Yassine however show readiness to accept a truce in a transitional period during which arrangements can be laid down to stop the violence and to which Hamas can participate, together with the Palestinian authority, Israel and the US.
Hamas spokesman Ibrahim Ghousheh said sheikh Yassine will leave to Gaza on board of a Jordanian military helicopter which will take off from king Hussein medical complex after he holds a press conference.
-The Iraqi economical delegation now visiting Lebanon held series of meetings with Lebanon's industrialists, merchants associations and ministers to discuss ways of cooperation.
-Interior minister Michel Murr returned back from Paris where he held talks with his French counterpart and other French officials.
- Lebanese detainees in Khiam prison staged a hunger strike on Oct. 3 in protest to the Israeli ban on visits by their relatives and ban of the ICRC from entering the prison.
-Minster of Displaced Mr. Walid Jumblat and his parliamentary bloc An-Nidal held meetings in Iqlim Kharoub with dignitaries and associations to discuss development projects of the area. Jumblat said demands of Iqlim Kharoub should be met but projects need financing which is not available now in the budget.
-Information minister Bassem Sabbaa, after a visit Saturday to sheikh Mohammad Mahdi Shamseddine, assured that the case of religious audio-visual media will be settled in framework of the religious authorities, in a way that avert using religious positions for political and media campaigning purposes.
-Electricity minister Elie Hubeika, inaugurating a social center, said the Lebanese can meet once again and be brothers, despite the doubts casted by many people who thought no Lebanese would meet another and mount Lebanon won't be united again.
-A local survey said area of violating constructions along the state owned seashore is 294,000 meter square, and state revenues which is now around LL. 4 bn can be raised up to L.L 50 bn.
-British frigate H.M.S. York will arrive 19th Oct. to Beirut in a two days friendly visit. Crew of the vessel will tour sites and hope to participate in sports activities with Lebanese civil and military teams. Commander of the vessel will visit Lebanese army senior officers who will in turn visit the frigate.
-Sheikh Subhi Tufeili and Council of Notables of the Hunger Revolution held its first meeting Sunday at Bou Rdai in Baalbek. 450 man representing most of Baalbek villages and towns and communities attended the meeting. The council set 26th of Oct. as a date to go to the streets and cut the main roads with cars and vehicles in protest to the government non response to demands.
-Agriculture minister Shawki Fakhoury, on behalf of president Elias Hrawi, decorated Lebanese pianist Walid Akl who was buried Sunday in Mheidtheh near Bikfaya.
- Head of the Muslim Shiite high Council sheikh Mohammad Mahdi Shamseddine, after receiving today Mufti of Tunisia, denounced what happened in Algiers saying it is far from Islam and denied by the Islamic Sharia.
-The Lebanese Golf Union tournament starts today at Ouzai. The union was informed that Lebanese amateurs in Greece international tournament ranked six at the end of the second phase.
-Andalos-Eqeibeh volleyball team was declared champion of the first volleyball tournament for youth below 17 years old.
-Karim Fares won for fourth time Lebanon's championship in cavalry on his horse Hellogen.
-Ansar football team overcame Tadamoun-Tyre 2-0 in the postponed match of the second phase of the 38th Dawri.
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