Stop helping the corrupted officials in Lebanon
Stop helping the corrupted officials in Lebanon
To our brothers in the International Monetary Fund,
We the Lebanese people who have been revolting against corruption and injustice humbly ask you not to give any financial loans to our corrupted government.
Here are some of the reasons why:
1- Lebanon is not a poor or a broke country, it is actually a robbed country. The same people who have been stealing public money for 30 years are the ones asking you for a loan today!
2- The Lebanese economic problem can essentially be solved by returning the stolen funds and replacing the current corrupted administration with honorable people, at least in the executive branch
3- The international experience with the current governmental actors in Lebanon has been a bad one. There is no guarantee that the funds you are considering loaning will be repaid. In fact, it has been a recurring scenario that every time the Lebanese government gets an international loan within the last 30 years. Either it has not been repaid or it has been spent in a non-transparent way, and the burden fell on us as Lebanese people. In a nutshell, our government officials will spend the amount on their own personal projects and then make us as people pay for it. We can no longer pay unfortunately since the government you are doing business with has impoverished most Lebanese
4- The fair conditions usually requested by your esteemed organization in such cases are quite impossible to be applied in Lebanon.
For example when you ask for:
- Minimizing public expenses, you will hit two brick walls. First of all, to balance out public sector employees is a direct contradiction of the way our government officials do business, they have employed thousands upon thousands of people in public sectors only for their electoral benefits even though most of them were not needed. Secondly, most public expenses go to the personal needs of the so-called rulers (their transport, their clothing, etc…) and we have learned that they never put the good of the country before their own personal gain
- Fighting corruption: it is a well-known fact that the Lebanese parties who have been ruling the country in the past 30 years have pledged over and over again to both local and international entities that they will fight and stop corruption. Never has that happened! on the contrary corruption has been increasing.
Thus, the only condition they would be ready to respond to is the increase of taxes to be paid by the Lebanese people. To be completely honest with you, we do not have the means to pay anymore and a big portion of the population has stopped paying bills due to an extreme lack of funds.
5- We have advanced anti corruption laws in Lebanon, they are simply not being applied by the government
6- Here are a few figures out of many (available upon request) that prove that the Lebanese government is not to be trusted when it comes to financial agreements:
- $2 billion, around 12% of our annual government budget is spent on EDL (Electricity of Lebanon), yet we still don’t have 24/7 electricity. Where does this money go?
- 46% of government revenue is used to pay the wages and salaries of government officials
- Our government spends 50% more on public servants’ salaries than our peer countries and generates 10% less government revenue
- Government officials and public servants salaries and benefits spending has increased by 7.5% every year for the last 10 years. Why?
- Local banks mostly owned by politicians earn 4 billion dollars in annual revenue from the Lebanese government. This represents 32% of yearly government spending
- In 48 hours across more than 50 cities in 25 countries the Lebanese people stood up to say enough is enough to corruption and divisive politics
- Sukleen, a waste management company owned by politicians was charging 4 times more per ton of waste disposed in landfills compared to providers in the UK, with less than satisfactory results. In numbers: $100 more per ton, this represents a potential of at least $100 million in yearly savings for the government
- Corruption and government unwillingness in collecting VAT from their partisans' businesses has cost the state 5 billion dollars a year
- Out of 137 countries Lebanon ranked 130th in efficiency of government spending, 128th in public trust in politicians, 126th in favoritism in decisions of government officials and 124th in transparency of government policy making
- Items within the 2020 annual budget showing mismanagement of funds:
Office supplies $5,700,000
Specialized items $9,000,000
Ads and printing $28,000,000
Presence at celebrations $4, 200, 000
Remuneration for extra work $12,500,000
Internal transport $2,800,000
Internal conferences $2,900,000
Gifts for births $6,200,000
Gifts for weddings $8,000,000
Contribution for deaths $8,800,000
In conclusion, we ask you to help justice prevail, please do not enforce the hand of corruption and tyranny in Lebanon.
We suggest that you form committees that could analyze and report governmental corruption in Lebanon as well as negotiate with specialists from the popular revolution since we have economical studies and exhibits.
Please do not give our government monetary grants.
Thank you and God bless
Sources: McKinsey 2018 Lebanon Economic Vision, Daily Star, Mtv reports, The Global Competitiveness Report 2017/2018, World Economic Forum