Naharnet

Pro-Berri MP Says Aoun's Term Will 'Destroy Lebanon' in Leaked Audio

An audio recording in which MP Yassine Jaber warns that the new presidential tenure will “destroy Lebanon” has spread on social networking websites and created a wave of controversy over the country's chronic power generation crisis.

“Unfortunately this presidential tenure will destroy Lebanon in an unacceptable manner... The president and the energy minister are pressing to get $500 million on top of the $1.5 billion to provide electricity for a number of hours until the end of 2018. Unfortunately the country is being taken into the abyss,” Yassine says in the recording, referring to a Cabinet session that was held around the time German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Lebanon.

He also notes that Merkel had proposed a plan that enables Lebanon to provide a 24/7 power supply for a cost of $800 million with the help of the German company Siemens.

Caretaker Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil disputed Jaber's claims and announced that Siemens “did not take part in any tendering process.”

He also dismissed the MP's remarks as “rumors and hearsay.”

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat had earlier voiced support for Jaber's statements, urging officials to heed his warnings.

“His voice exposes the farce of the Turkish (power) ships, which are one of the main reasons behind the deficit and the public debt,” Jumblat tweeted.


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