News from Beirut July 24 1997 ...Search

The Government And The Prime Minister

-Prime minister Rafic Hariri yesterday advocated his government's policy on a TV evening's interview. He assured that president Elias Hrawi will refuse to extend his term in office even under persisting circumstances and described him as a man of decision.

Some of what was said in the Interview:

-"In agreement with minister Walid Jumblat over the displaced issue. Reports on waste of money at the displaced ministry was an exaggeration. Large amounts paid to evict downtown Beirut's squatters but from Solidere not from public money. Saying only 5 per cent of the displaced already returned back is incorrect. The destruction in the displaced areas is enormous and a $150mn amount would allow large number to return back".

-"Persisting on the new election law's proposal of one electorate for all Lebanon"

-"Stick to the idea of a new law for the internal security forces ISF in order to make it more effective and to take over missions that are now assigned to the army, and not objecting commander of the ISF to be a Maronite. Security of the Pan Arab Games was assigned to the army something that should not be . What concerns me is that the ISF to assume its duty perfectly. Nothing can be passed on the issue without an agreement with the president, the council of ministers and the parliament"

-"Present number of the army which is 75,000 is too large for Lebanon especially under the economical and regional present situation. Relation with the army is same as any relation between a prime minister and an institution that is doing its work positively. We should preserve this institution and support it and that is what we are doing. The agencies are something and the army is something else."

-" The responsibility over the Jezzine case is on Israel because it is the occupant force. We have no authority there in Jezzine and our potential there is limited"

-"Calls Iraq to dispatch its economical delegation to Lebanon and get overt what has happened during the Eighth Pan Arab Games"

-"The Economical ideas forum was constructive and useful for both the government and the economical groups. The country did not ever reach an impasse, the dialogue is to be continuous and the government is not far from the labors and economists' apprehensions"

-"Giving the figure that the country is facing an economical crisis is a politics not facts"

-"We do not believe that investment projects led to the budget deficit and we do not recognize such sort of allegations on commissions and waste of money"

-"The suggestion that was presented to overcome budget deficit aimed at increasing the revenues and improving collection of taxes. The collection should speed up and there should be non classical methods on that, such as contracting with the private sector to collect electricity, water and car mechanic's charges. No citizen should refrain from paying the tax"

-"State employees salaries were increased also the social benefits with an average higher than any previous government and that is one of the reasons of the budget deficit"

-"Contracts on the major reconstruction and infrastructure projects are under supervision and little are under the CDR, I personally follow up these issues and politicians never interfered in the contracts affair"

-"New scales of salary and rank for the public civil servants require revenues and the government won't bear its burden solely but together with all the people". He refused to say what would be the measures his government will take to finance the increase but said there will be no surprises.

-"There were poor in Lebanon before the war and exodus of the Lebanese started since decades but we try to return them back to the country and ensure their future".

-"No state institution would be privatized but there are some state activities that the private sector would be in charge of".

-"Lebanon will continue to depend on good quality services, but the government will encourage industry and agriculture"

-”We came through elections not tanks and the country is run in accordance to a parliamentarian constitutional system"

-"I wish the ministers to show more concern over their portfolios and the supervisory boards to assume its duty with greater efficiency, also to show more concern on public money and issues to be approached in a more subjective manner".

-"Describing my trips abroad as unuseful is not true and the foreign minister who said so do not believe that description".

-"Heading Lebanon's delegation to the UN is not decided yet. If the president wants to go he will, and if not, myself or the foreign minister would go".

-"Between sheikh Subhi Tufeili (hunger revolution) and sheikh Rshayd el Khazen (Sunday's rally at Mayrouba) big difference. Let's wait until Sunday (Mayrouba rally) . Baalbek gathering was something different. Perhaps sheikh Rshayd has certain political problems he is facing and he is not allied with foreign minister Fares Boueiz".

-"There was no negotiation with the hunger revolution as Baalbek-Hermel case was debated since sometime and it was necessary to do something about certain regions to meet its needs"

-Opposition papers quoted Hariri saying that "who oppose him is in fact opposing Syria" something it regarded an attempt to involve Syria against a party in Lebanon and side with another. The papers also highlighted his saying that the current 63 per cent of the budget deficit is not serious neither a catastrophe. The papers quoted him accusing security agencies of interfering in the General Labor Confederation GLC's election and of occupying the GLC H.Q.

US travel Ban

-US secretary of state Madeleine Albright yesterday left Washington to California from where she will go in an Asian tour without announcing her decision on the US travel ban on Lebanon. However, US officials said she would take that decision anytime and anywhere but perhaps she is expecting further advice. Senator Spencer Ibraham who spoke to one of Albright's aides said his impression on the case was not positive. He urged the US administration to be frank enough with Lebanon's government and not to present successive demands if there is no intention to lift the ban. .

Evening News

-The government decision yesterday to close definitely all non licensed audiovisual media stations is said to have closed the file of the audiovisual media. The government ordered closure of all radio and television stations which have no licenses. Information minister Bassem Sabbaa today said all non licensed stations will be formally informed. Meanwhile, some non licensed TV and radio stations continue to transmit today defying the decision.

-News reports today said the Lebanese government is determined not to negotiate anyone on the reopening of the Kfar Falous crossing and the Lebanese army will reopen within days the stretch of the crossing that lies on its controlled side.

-The Islamic resistance claimed responsibility of two attacks against the SLA outposts along Jezzine-Kfar Houneh main road saying it targeted the detachment 90 of the Israeli backed militia SLA. SLA on its side admitted that 6 of its men were wounded in the attacks, including one in a critical condition. News reports today said one Israeli soldier was killed while manning an artillery battery that was shelling civilian target in south Lebanon.

-Governor of mount Lebanon Mohammed Yamout today presided a meeting of the mount Lebanon provisional security council to discuss measures that are going to be enforced on Sunday during the Mayrouba rally gathering that was called on by MP Rshayd el Khazen. The meeting adopted measures to coordinate between the ISF and army forces, also asked defense minister to halt arms licenses on Sunday.

-Beirut southern and northern suburbs garbage piles remained without a solution. Piles of garbage that were laid down on the street sides are accumulating warning of a serious pollution problem. No place has been found yet to receive the garbage, after the closure of Bourj Hammoud dump and refusal of Amrousieh residents to accept incinerator in their quarter. The private cleaning company Sukleen said the case is out of its hand.

-North MP Ahmad Fatfat today said that Akkar region in north Lebanon, a rural area same as Baalbek-Hermel,is not willing to receive sheikh Subhi Tufeili and that MPs of north can themselves relay voice of the people to the government not others.

-Evening news comment said the economical ideas forum was in fact an affirmation of the present status, its recommendations are not binding, and the follow up committee that was formed at the end of the forum need to be followed up.


-House speaker Nabih Berri said the economical ideas forum did not suggest anything new.

-Prime minister Rafic Hariri arrived to Athens in first such visit in 35 years by a Lebanese senior official since late president Camille Chamoun visited Greece. Athens prepared a warm welcome and praised the prime minister's role that goes beyond Lebanon as it put it. Greek ambassador in Lebanon said too much common denominators exist between the two countries, Lebanon is facing occupation of 17 per cent of its land by Israel, and Greece is facing a Turkish occupation of part of Cyprus, Lebanon considers Greece a gateway to the European Union, and Greece see that Lebanon is a gateway to the Arab world. Lebanese ambassador in Greece said Greece is the nearest European country to Lebanon that always supported the Lebanese case and showed concern over the Arab rights and interests.

-Patriarch Sfair conferred with Jezzine MPs over the case of Jezzine. Mp Pierre Daccache after a visit to the patriarch said he rejects marginalizing the role of the Christians or role of any opposition group in or out of the government. Among the patriarch's visitors yesterday were the French and Canadian ambassadors, a delegation representing Gen. Aoun loyalists, Caritas of Lebanon, and others.

-Israeli warplanes flew over Beirut and Baalbek .

-Minister of administrative reform Beshara Merhej quoted president Hrawi optimistic over the reopening of Kfar Falous and on easing the US travel ban on Lebanon.

-Ehden and north Lebanon marked the memorial of late president Suleiman Franjieh and his spouse. Lebanese officials' representatives attended the sermon held in the occasion together with a Syrian delegation headed by state minister Wahib el Fadel.

-Algerian former president Ahmad bin Bella yesterday met House speaker Nabih Berri, former premiers Rashid Solh and Selim Hoss, and conversed with members of the socialist union's party. Bin Bella said Lebanon's steadfastness was a landmark for the Arabs.

-Australian parliamentarian delegation met in Beirut with ministers of immigrants and labor also the house speaker. They discussed a plan that aimed to form an Australian-Lebanese union designed to place the Lebanese Australian community under one umbrella.

-The case of 16,000 Lebanese who sought political asylum in Germany during the wartime is now under discussion between the two governments of Germany and Lebanon. 40,000 more are in Sweden, and 19,000 in Denmark, with smaller number in Canada. Germany has expressed its will to deport the majority who are holding travel documents issued in Lebanon. Most of them are not Lebanese but entered Berlin from the former East Germany during the wartime without visas or perhaps with fake documents that are now being checked in Lebanon.

-People in Baalbek and its vicinity said they felt some tremors on the dawn of July 23.

Eighth Pan Arab Games

State------------ gold ----------silver ---------- bronze ---------- total

Egypt ----------- 70 ------------37 -------------- 24 ------------ 131

Algeria ---------- 29 ----------- 31 -------------- 37 ------------- 97

Morocco ------- 16 ------------13 -------------- 12 ------------- 41

Qatar ------------ 8 ------------ 5 ---------------- 3 ------------- 16

Tunisia  ---------  7  ------------ 8 ----------------16 ------------ 31

Jordan ----------  7 ------------- 7 --------------- 14 ------------ 28

Syria ------------ 6 ------------ 22 --------------- 27 ------------ 55

Saudia ---------- 6 ------------- 8 ---------------- 18 ------------ 32

Lebanon -------- 5 -------------14 --------------- 34 ------------ 53

Kuwait  ---------1 ------------- 9 -----------------13 -------------23

Oman ---------- 1 ------------- 1 ----------------- 1 ------------- 3

Sudan -------------------------- 1 ----------------- 2 ------------ 3

Palestine ------------------------------------------- 4 ------------- 4

Bahrain -------------------------------------------- 1 ------------- 1

Total ----------156 ----------- 156 -------------  207 ----------  519

Portemilio Suite Hotel   The Luxurious Hotel in the heart of Kaslik, Jounieh, Lebanon

   ........Minkara Center  Coming Soon !

email us for more details ...

More news from International Agencies

[ Weekly Business Reports ]

Back to Local News Wire

© 1995-1997 Interactive- USA ,
All Rights Reserved.

For any comments or questions please e-mail