Aridi Lays Flood Blame on Safadi as Minister Refutes Accusations

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Caretaker Public Works and Transport Minister Ghazi Aridi accused the caretaker Finance Minister on Monday of obstructing the allocation of funds for public works throughout the country, including the cleaning of sewers ahead of the winter season.

“I reiterate that I assume responsibility for anything related to the public works ministry,” Aridi said during a lengthy press conference he held at his office after being criticized of neglect when roads were swamped with rainwater last week.

“I am in the service of the people and no matter what is said (about me), I will not change,” he said.

Aridi apologized from the people who spent hours on the roads when several Beirut neighborhoods and the capital's suburbs were flooded because drains were not cleared.

He also thanked journalists, reporters, photographers and their media outlets for following up what happened, saying “I accept from you everything even if they are harmful or are not right.”

Aridi apologized for not answering his phone when roads were blocked with rainwater. But he said that he hadn't been making appearances for a long time.

He stressed however that the public works ministry had no ties to the latest floods.

Aridi said that he asked caretaker Finance Minister Mohammed Safadi on May 3 for the appropriation of funds that had already been approved by the cabinet in 2012, before its resignation.

“Safadi reacted positively to my request,” he said, adding the minister approved them a few days later.

But on Sept. 2, Aridi claimed that he received a notice of non-approval. He showed reporters at his office the documents proving his claims.

“During the period between May and September, we had already called in contractors” to begin works throughout Lebanon, he told reporters.

Aridi said his ministry has until now been allocated in 2013 more than LL3 billion only despite its request for LL61 billion.

Aridi also said that he had asked the cabinet for the renewal of contracts to deal with rainwater on the streets.

But during a session, the finance minister objected, saying there had been a 2 billion embezzlement in the public works ministry.

“At that point, I asked Safadi if he was the thief or he was covering up for the thieves,” Aridi said.

“Safadi later apologized to me,” Aridi added, but he accused him of committing a series of violations when Safadi was public works minister before him.

But Safadi told al-Jadeed TV that the accusations made against him by Aridi were not true.

The campaign against me is political, he said.

“The worst thing is for an official to hold all officials the responsibility of what he should do,” he told LBCI TV.

Comments 17
Thumb geha 09 December 2013, 13:34

we said it early on: safadi is an arms dealer and a crook.
what is funny is that hizbushaitan wants to keep this cabinet working and still refusing to make changes :)
what is funny is that they want to pass the oil and gas deal :)

Thumb sevilla 09 December 2013, 14:05

They all are thieves. Each and every one of them. This Aridi character has his brother as the go between and any work has to go through him. His brother has contractors lined up for every job. Aridi built a huge palace in baysour and his monthly commission check is delivered to his door step. Safadi is the same. Bassil has his family and friends set up companies and he has a private plane and malls in batroun and byblos. They all should be put on trial.

Thumb mckinl 09 December 2013, 14:07

Heed my words ...

Missing --karim_m3-- 09 December 2013, 14:47

Safadi should be imprisoned for his corruption and crimes.

Thumb benzona 09 December 2013, 15:37

je me demande ce que la 4 eme generation de karim va donner.... ca va encore etre un degre de dégénérescence supplementaire.

Thumb benzona 09 December 2013, 15:34

i think he enjoys getting punched, that's why he comes everyday under several aliases.... quel masochiste!

Thumb benzona 09 December 2013, 15:34

yes, lame....

you are indeed!

Thumb benzona 09 December 2013, 15:36

"heed my words" or more likely 'weed my lords' ??

Thumb benzona 09 December 2013, 15:52

quel baratineur! i have one alias mon oeil.

flame thrower with a dot, a dash, an underscore, sometimes all.... next step is the number.

btw, don't yyou ever why i picked such a weird nickname years ago here on nararnet? it was only aimed at the israelis reading naharnet.... yet, it turns out you understand and felt targetted.

as of me, why do i understand it? well, i date an israeli girl for some time, what;s your excuse terrorist?

Missing peace 09 December 2013, 16:05

useless M8 government....

Thumb lebanon_first 09 December 2013, 16:10

Ali Baba and the 40 thieves. This is the 40 thieves fighting.

Thumb lebanon_first 09 December 2013, 16:10

Ali Baba and the 40 thieves. This is the 40 thieves fighting.

Thumb _mowaten_ 09 December 2013, 16:28

lol funny that they keep whining about multiple accounts when they are champions in the field. remember my 120+ downvotes? couldnt have done it without all your fake aliases guys :)

Thumb _mowaten_ 09 December 2013, 17:34

i was busy, you know, having a life and all.. you should try it some day.

but allow me to return the question, you sound hysterical lately, commenting everywhere like you desperately need a tap on the back or a sign of affection, did your last remaining friend diss you recently?

Thumb lebanon_first 09 December 2013, 17:11

texas. lol... not sure though

Thumb beiruti 09 December 2013, 17:23

Such a government. It fails the people and when the search starts for answers, they point their finger at each other trying to avoid blame. The whole lot of them need to be put out on the street and something new is needed for Lebanon.
We need some Lebanese who has lived in a civilized country to go back home and form a government worthy of a civilized people.

Missing halaktouna77 09 December 2013, 18:18

I am sure you gotta love this blame game ... your GMA has mastered it and by proxy all his blind followers enjoy it ... no wonder all the other ministers are mastering it now ... inno 3asher el 2om 2arb3een yom