Jumblat Decries Bassil Wage Cut Calls, Disagrees with Hizbullah over Meeting Place

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Progressive Socialist Party leader ex-MP Walid Jumblat criticized the Foreign Minister’s call to cut wages of the government employees as part of austerity measures, and noted that his recent conflict with Hizbullah arose over the place of a meeting scheduled between the two, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Monday.

“What Bassil is ushering for is a faux pas,” Jumblat told the daily, stressing that the government can impose austerity measures on several other sectors that involve waste of public funds and corruption.

“Many other facilities can be approached that involve waste and corruption,” he said, “there are a million other sources where the government can impose measures other than the wages of these employees.”

Over the weekend, Foreign Minister Jabran Bassil said that cuts to the salaries of government employees must be one of the options to cut spending.

Lebanon’s government gears up to discuss and approve its state budget amid economic woes and a likelihood to cut the salaries of ministers and deputies.

On reported tense ties between Jumblat and Hizbullah due to disagreement over the place of a scheduled meeting between the two, he said that Hizbullah wanted to hold it in Haret Hreik (Hizbullah’s stronghold) but that he prefers it to be held at his place.

“We have agreed on a joint meeting between the two parties this week but disagreed on the location. I understood from (PSP Minister) Wael (Abou Faour) that (Hizbullah official) Hajj Hassan Khalil has asked it be held in Haret Hreik which I frankly refused. The party (Hizbullah) should take the initiative and visit us this time,” said Jumblat, noting that it was pre-scheduled before Hizbullah changed plans.

Hizbullah-PSP ties were tense and the said meeting was supposed to ease the conflict.

Comments 4
Thumb s.o.s 15 April 2019, 14:28

cut the MPs, Ministers, PM and President's salaries by 90% and put an end to their privileges as well as highly ranked military/police officers getting 5 chauffeurs 24/7.

Missing rabiosa 15 April 2019, 16:58

Socialists and/or Communists like big bloated government bureaucracy, hence Jubby's total anti privatization of some state assets namely EDL and Telecom. I've always advocated of eliminating certain ministries or merging other under under one, cut the waste and over runs and duplicate tasks, but the number of ministers to max 10 ministers. But in a land of corruption, noting will ever see the light.

Thumb s.o.s 15 April 2019, 18:04

30 ministers for such a tiny country is insane... the CEDRE loans will be used to pay their salaries, vacations and the ones of their personal assistants, advisors and other parasites orbiting around them.

Thumb whyaskwhy 15 April 2019, 17:07

Certainly making them all take a pay cut is a great idea, but these are Lebanese leaders and by nature they are all corrupt so they will find another way to continue their corruption program. A miracle for Lebanon ailing state is possible, but only when you get the Lebanese out of Lebanon.....