Kataeb Ministers Present Plan on Solid Waste Treatment as Sharp Differences Threaten Cabinet's Stabilityإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Kataeb Ministers have handed over to Environment Minister Mohammed al-Mashnouq their notes on the treatment of the solid waste in Lebanon as media reports estimated that the cabinet will hold a heated debate over the matter during its session on Thursday.
Labor Minister Sejaan Qazzi informed An Nahar newspaper published on Tuesday that he and Economy Minister Alain Hakim presented the memo to the Environment Minister.
The minister said that the four-page memo includes two sections - comments on the cabinet's suggested plan and the alternative solutions.
The sharp differences between ministers regarding the waste file, Naameh landfill and other matters are threatening to destabilize the cabinet amid the absence of a president.
The cabinet assumes the executive tasks of the president as stated by the constitution until a new head of state is elected.
Education Minister Elias Bou Saab, who is loyal to the Free Patriotic Movement, stressed in comments published in al-Joumhouria newspaper the importance of seeking a permanent solution to the waste dispute.
“There are mafias that are blocking all solutions that suit citizens and the state's treasury.”
In its last session in 2014, the cabinet failed to reach a decision on the matter, postponing discussions on solid waste treatment after the Kataab ministers demanded time to review the file.
Ministerial sources told An Nahar newspaper that concerned officials are carrying out the necessary contacts with the rival parties to reduce the tension between the ministers.
On Monday, Mashnouq also stressed the importance of extending the license for the al-Naameh landfill in the coastal Shouf town for additional months. However, Agriculture Minister Akram Shehayeb, who is loyal to the Progressive Socialist Party leader, rejected the request.
The cabinet vowed last year, under street pressure, to close the al-Naameh landfill in January 2015 indefinitely, saying that a crisis plan will be set to deal with solid waste in the country.