Electricity crisis to worsen as dispute over funds continues


The electricity crisis will aggravate over the next two weeks, after production plants ran out of fuel oil, which means that “there will be no ability to generate a single minute of power supply,” a media report said.

The dispute over funds needed to benefit from three fuel ships docked off the coast meanwhile continues, with ministerial sources telling al-Akhbar newspaper that caretaker PM Najib Mikati has not agreed to authorize a treasury loan with an extraordinary approval under the excuse that there are “legal” complications.

“Finance Minister Youssef Khalil has repeatedly told those asking him about the file to talk to Mikati and Speaker Nabih Berri,” the sources said.

Mikati and the FPM have been engaged in a war of words over the issue for several days now.

Sources close to Mikati meanwhile told al-Akhbar that the decision “needs a decree issued by the government” and that passing it with an extraordinary approval might subject it to being appealed by the Free Patriotic Movement.

“Some believe that Berri and Mikati want to hold a new cabinet session in order to corner the FPM, while some have stressed that the funds are not available and that Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh’s pledge is not clear, knowing that the Energy Ministry has received additional confirmations from the Central Bank that the funds will be available once it gets informed of the decision by the Finance Ministry,” the sources added.

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