Lebanon forms government to break eight-month logjam

Lebanon forms government to break eight-month logjam

Lebanon forms government to break eight-month logjam

"The global community has pledged to offer 11 billion USA dollars for Lebanon but the fund can not be delivered without the implementation of real financial and economic reforms", he said.

"During its term the new government is expected to oversee significant developments, including the profitable reconstruction of Syria so there is a lot on the line when it comes to control of the ministries", Preston told The New Arab. Hezbollah has thrown its weight behind the Syrian government in the civil war that broke out in 2011, while Hariri and his political allies were critical, supporting at times the opposition.

On Thursday, the president's Free Patriotic Movement took 10 positions, including foreign minister, giving an eleventh spot to the independent Sunni lawmakers.

Emphasizing the United States government's commitment to Lebanon's financial stability and its overall satisfaction with the banking sector's compliance with USA sanctions and regulations, he urged Lebanese officials to ensure that Hezbollah "stays away from the banking sector".

Its ally Shiite movement Hezbollah took three portfolios, including the health ministry.

Meanwhile, war-torn neighbouring Syria awaits reconstruction - one that is likely to be witnessed by Lebanon's new cabinet.

The Future Movement and its allies are represented by: Al-Hassan; Mohammed Choucair as minister of communications; Jamal Al-Jarrah as minister of information; Violette Khairallah as state minister for social and economic rehabilitation for youth and women; and Adel Afyouni as state minister for information technology affairs. Another woman, Nada Bustani, was named by the president's political faction to hold the strategic post of energy minister.

Six Nations - England 32-20 Ireland: Henry Slade reacts dominant win
He added, "We're nowhere near our best". "I am not saying it was a plan [by England] but it put him out of the game". Speaking after the thrilling encounter, Slade said: "It's a great feeling to get a win, Ireland are a top side".

Prime Minister Saad Hariri apologised for how long it took to form the new government, saying the economy would be its main focus.

This too could prove to be hard, in view of internal divisions.

Lebanon's service-oriented economy had looked on the brink of collapse for some time, but a Paris conference dubbed CEDRE in April made aid pledges worth US$11 billion.

"Lebanon is in a precarious situation, hoping influential outside powers let its fragile power-sharing arrangement limp on because any alternative might prove far worse", said Thanassis Cambanis, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation who's written a book on Hezbollah.

"The challenges facing us are huge, and the available means are limited", he said.

The country is dealing with soaring public debt of $84 billion, or 155 per cent of the gross domestic product, and unemployment believed to be around 36 per cent. Lebanon's infrastructure is also reeling under the weight of a growing number of Syrian refugees: more than 1 million in a country of just over 4 million.

Unemployment doubled between 2011 and 2014 to reach 20 per cent, and the state can not provide water and electricity to all its citizens - even in central Beirut.

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