PM Denies Cabinet Rift on Salary Scale, Warns against Attempt to Topple Cabinet Economically

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Prime Minister Najib Miqati denied on Tuesday a rift among cabinet ministers on the sources of revenues for the controversial salary scale of the public sector.

In remarks to As Safir daily, Miqati said the government was dealing with “high responsibility” with the issue to avoid any negative effect on the country's economy.

The cabinet failed again on Monday to refer the salary scale to the parliament for adoption, prompting a confirmation by the Syndicate Coordination Committee that it will go ahead with a nation-wide strike on Wednesday.

The SCC, a coalition of private and public school teachers and public sector employees, threatened to hold more protests until the issue is resolved.

"Public administrations, ministries, the Grand Serail as well as public and private schools and vocational institutes will participate in the strike,” a statement said.

It added a march will be held from Beirut's al-Barbir square towards the Grand Serail.

But Miqati reiterated that the government was procrastinating “because the economy cannot tolerate any new jolt, particularly that additional spending would have a negative impact on growth, which now stands at 1.5 percent.”

“We understand the rightful demands of some sectors and we are seeking to find consensual (funding) formulas,” he said.

“However, some (parties) are betting on bringing down the government economically after they failed to topple it politically,” Miqati said, adding “this is something that we will not tolerate.”

Leading businessmen, merchants and bankers, have also warned that the government's decision to boost the salaries of civil servants would "inflict major losses on the public and private sectors."

During a press conference the Economic Committees held on Monday, they reiterated that the private sector was united in rejecting the hike at a time when the public debt stands at 136 percent of the country’s GDP and all economic indicators are negative.

Comments 3
Thumb geha 11 December 2012, 08:12

you are a joke.
you cling to power like a glue because you know once you are out, your value is zero.

Missing freemind 11 December 2012, 10:39

little geha, if it werent for ur mikati, ur dear 'lebanon' wld have sunk into all out civil war.
if i were u, i wld just keep it quiet.
in this period of time, u cant either have a M14 or M8 PM. if u dont know that, then go back to kindergarten.

Thumb mckinl 11 December 2012, 14:48

I urge all Lebanese to take a look around at the middle east, the eu, the us, all the trading partners. What you will see is a severe economic recession soon to be a depression.

Take a good look at Egypt, Tunisia, Greece, Protugal, Ireland and other countries. Don't believe the rosy scenarios that the politicians keep feeding you, look at what is really going on.

Lebanon can not and will not escape this economic crisis it is too dependent on exports, tourism and outside investment to not be drastically effected.

Lebanon must heal its wounds and move forward and even then the situation will be very hard. Escalate the current crisis and Lebanon becomes a basket case and everyone becomes desperate.