Day 169

Still ongoing...

Day 169

Still ongoing...

April 2, 2020

Public Lockdown In Service of the Banks; 8 Activists Arrested

  • Security forces arrested a group of protesters demonstrating outside Al Mawarid Bank in Hamra, Beirut. The arrest of journalist Mohamad Nazzal and activists Amer Harfouch, Ahmad Dais, Daniel Abi Jomaa, Mohamad Jallous, Walid Rifai, Karen Hilal, and Khodor Anwar follows a pattern of oppressive measures adopted by the state against anyone with ties to the October 17 revolution. These measures are undertaken under the pretext of said protesters violating the public lockdown to combat COVID-19. 

How much do BDL vice governors get paid?

  • Cabinet postponed deliberations on senior banking sector appointments Thursday due to quota disputes. However, the government tried to whitewash its image by proposing a salary reduction of these positions, including those who will be appointed vice-governors to the Central Bank of Lebanon (BDL).
  • Lebanon counts four vice-governors of BDL instead of one, though their functions remain unspecified. Each vice-governor receives their salary based on a 16-month yearly contract, costing 35 million Lebanese pounds a month. This means that each vice-governor receives 560 million Lebanese Pounds annually. The vice-governors are appointed for a 5-year term, by the end of which each would have gotten paid a billion and 120 million Lebanese pounds. 
  • After the cabinet's session, Minister of Information Manal Abdel Samad announced that the government had decided to "follow through with the implementation of [Bisri Dam] project... due to its strategic importance in providing needed water to the Greater Beirut area."

The Technocrats Sacrifice the Bisri Valley

  • This decision has come on the heels of the government's decision to ignore the environmental catastrophes that this project might incur, which include massive deforestation and putting the area under threat of earthquakes. Groups and initiatives that had sprung from October 17 had previously managed to stop the work of contractors inside the valley. It is worth noting that the initial cost of the project was priced at $625 million, $475 million of which were loaned by the World Bank.

COVID-19 Update

  • 15 new cases, 494 cases, 46 recoveries, 16 deaths
  • 2500 LEBANESE TO BE REPATRIATED ON SUNDAY. Cabinet had initially agreed on Tuesday to begin repatriation thousands of Lebanese abroad starting April 5. However, when met with obstacles from host countries unwilling to allow Lebanese medical teams to test the expats in their countries of departure, the government was forced to scale back its proposal to include just 25% of the original number of planned returnees. This would be around 2,500 expatriates. Returnees would be tested at the Rafic Hariri International Airport, after which they may be quarantined for 14 days or referred for further medical supervision. The government did not elaborate further on its plan."

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