FPM denies Franjieh claims about 'Bassil role in port deal'


The Free Patriotic Movement on Thursday stressed that its chief Jebran Bassil does not have “any role or link to the Beirut port deal,” denying accusations in this regard by Marada Movement chief Suleiman Franjieh.

“How can this happen in a ministry and file that the FPM has nothing to do with at all, and accordingly what can be hoped from a presidential candidate who launches false accusations against his political rivals other than his reinforcement of the impunity policy?” the FPM said in a statement.

MP Ghassan Atallah of the FPM for his part called on Franjieh to present “documents” to “confirm Jebran Bassil’s ties to the port.”

In an interview on al-Jadeed TV overnight, Franjieh had alleged that “the Beirut port deal was made with Jebran Bassil and not with Hezbollah.”

French shipping giant CMA CGM in February 2022 won a 10-year contract to run the container terminal at Beirut port, caretaker Public Works and Transport Minister Ali Hamieh, who is loyal to Hezbollah, said.

The contract will provide cash-strapped Lebanon "tens of millions of dollars" every year, Hamieh said, adding that authorities chose the French company over its UAE-based competitor Gulftainer because it offered a better rate and more favorable conditions.

The company's French-Lebanese CEO Rodolphe Saade said his firm was looking to develop a "high-performance" container terminal that could renew Lebanon's trade ties. Saade had visited Beirut with French President Emmanuel Macron in the wake of the catastrophic 2020 blast at the port, offering a plan to reconstruct the entire facility in less than three years.

His company, which manages several investment portfolios in Lebanon, also operates the container terminal at the Tripoli port, the country's second largest.

Comments 3
Thumb gebran_sons 27 April 2023, 18:03

Any long term contract signed while Hizbollah occupy Lebanon will be selling Lebanon on the cheap, not to mention by a corrupt political mafia. Political risk caused by Hizbollah's arms and bleak economic outlook make every long term contract costing 5 to 10 times more than if the country was stable, sovereign and on path to recovery. This is basic economics. Just look around us. Egypt reluctance to get military involved in Sudan and Saudi-Iranian ill-prepared agreement are both for avoiding political risk that could ravage their economy. Saudi is focusing on economic development. Vision 2030, Neom, and modernizing industry are expensive requiring outside investments. Political instability, especially from Yemen’s war add economic risk scaring foreign investment and quadrupling cost of long term projects. Similarly Egypt debt repayment will greatly suffer from any instability. Not to forget that accumulated interest on Lebanese debt since 2019 is over $8 billion and counting!

Thumb gebran_sons 27 April 2023, 18:06

Economy for dummies anyone with a calculator can verify:
A peaceful well governed nation can get loans at 2% yearly interest. Political instability increases interest to 6%-10% for same loan. In a country controlled by a criminal militia funded by a belligerent country, interest will exceed 15%.
A loan payable in 30 years costs:
80% more if interest=2%
474% more if interest=6%
1645% more if interest=10%
6521% more if interest=15%
That is why all long-term investments dried up in Lebanon, our economy collapsed, businesses and country went bankrupt, and banking system destroyed. Thanks for Useful Idiots Aoun, Bassil and Frangieh for taking us to hell while protecting Hizb criminal activity, risk to economy, and disabling interest rates. Any long-term project approved while HizbIran control Lebanon or Frangieh elected will be costing Lebanese and their children several times its actual cost. Simple risk management calculations.

Thumb farsical.resistance 27 April 2023, 22:22

He's not even president yet but Franjieh cannot help acting as the apologist for Hezballah, this illustrates what will happen if he's elected. I have no doubt that Jebran Bassil is involved in the Beirut port deal. Hezballah is obviously also involved. Ali Hamieh cannot even go to the bathroom to relieve himself without Hezballah's permission.