Naharnet

Bassil: President Won't Fall, Others Wrongly Betting that We're Weak

Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil on Sunday snapped back at the FPM's critics, especially Marada Movement chief Suleiman Franjieh, and stressed that President Michel Aoun “will not fall.”

“The president will not fall, unless he wants to resign, but certainly it is not General Aoun who would do so,” Bassil said at a press conference.

Apparently referring to Franjieh's latest scathing attack on Aoun and the FPM, Bassil said: “We are not in a personal feud with anyone. We're concerned with addressing people's issues and we care about causes, not individuals.”

“We are ready for any accord step to immunize salvation, unless the other rejects it because they are wrongly betting that we are weak,” he added.

“Some political parties attack us in public and send us emissaries secretly. We publicly tell them: you attack us verbally whenever you feel that your interests are threatened should the truth come out. Our problem with you is not personal but have to do with the politics and system you have set up. It bankrupted the country and you don't want to abandon it,” Bassil went on to say.

Referring to Franjieh's latest claim that there are no gas or oil reserves in Lebanon, Bassil said: “Some politicians' statement, regardless of their spite, might be linked to leaks or requests.”

“We're against the policy of making banks lose all their assets, because people would lose their deposits this way.

He noted that global oil giants Novateck, ENI and Total did not come to Lebanon “for the sake of the FPM.”

“They would not have paid over $100 million in investments for our sake if they don't have chances to reap promising revenues,” he pointed out.

He added: “We have comprehensive proposals, we suggest solutions to Lebanon's crisis on daily basis and we're not seeking sabotage as others.”

In another jab at Franjieh in connection with the row over the counterfeit fuel scandal Bassil said “corruption drained the state's institutions and finances as well as people's deposits, so how can we remain silent or refrain from confronting it?”

“I'm not talking to start a political problem with anyone, but what can I do if they considered themselves to be concerned?” he said.

As for the country's economic and financial crises, Bassil urged the government to “rein in inflation, limit people's losses, impose a unified exchange rate on money changers, jail those manipulating the black market and pay compensations, albeit partial, to employees incurring losses from the new price.”

“We are a country of freedoms and it is based on a free economic system. The same as the freedoms of belief, thought, expression and movement, it is unacceptable to harm the freedom of economy,” Bassil added.

As for Lebanon's chronic electricity problem, Bassil said the only solution is to have 24/24 power supply.

“If the electricity plan does not get launched this year, the Lebanese will be plunged into darkness, because there won't be sufficient electricity subsidization in the coming budgets,” he warned.

Source: Naharnet


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