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Budget, the Economy and Social Welfare under PMA and the Government

Is Lebanon better economically under PMA with these actions

  • Yes because of Oil

    Votes: 2 18.2%
  • Yes because of Budget passed

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • Yes because of Salaries Scale

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • Yes because of fighting corruption

    Votes: 2 18.2%
  • Yes because of international conferences

    Votes: 2 18.2%
  • Yes because of big projects including private sector

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • Yes because of Social Security for all

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • No because School Tuitions are raising

    Votes: 2 18.2%
  • No because because all are corrupted

    Votes: 3 27.3%
  • No because no jobs are created

    Votes: 2 18.2%
  • No because of taxes

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Perhaps

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • PMA is ok but situation too bad and corrupted to get better

    Votes: 3 27.3%
  • It is the fault of Syrian Refugees

    Votes: 3 27.3%
  • I don’t care , I m leaving this country or already left

    Votes: 2 18.2%

  • Total voters
    11
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  • Aoune32!

    Well-Known Member
    في العام 1992 لامس سعر صرف الدولار الأميركي الواحد في السوق المحلّي سقف الثلاثة آلاف ليرة، علمًا أنّه كان قبل عقد واحد من ذلك، أي في العام 1982 بحدود الخمس ليرات للدولار الواحد! وبالتالي منذ أن ذاق اللبنانيّون طعم إنهيار العملة المحلّية في النصف الثاني من حقبة الثمانينات، مُرورًا بسياسة تثبيتها المُعتمدة من قبل حاكم مصرف لبنان رياض سلامة(1) منذ نحو ربع قرن، يعيش اللبنانيّون هاجس تكرار تجربة إنهيار الليرة. فهل يُوجد فعلاً خطر حقيقي بإرتفاع سعر صرف الدولار الأميركي الواحد إلى 3000 ليرة لبنانية، أم أنّ ما يُردّده البعض في هذا المجال مُجرّد إشاعات مُغرضة؟.
    بحسب الإقتصاديّين المُشكّكين بثبات العملة الوطنيّة، فهُم ينطلقون من جملة من الوقائع والمُعطيات، وفي هذا السياق، يُمكن تعداد ما يلي بشكل مُبسّط وبعيدًا عن تعقيدات الأرقام:
    أوّلاً: إنّ إرتفاع الفوائد ينعكس سلبًا على كلفة الدين العام، وكذلك على كلفة الإقتراض من قبل القطاع الخاص، الأمر الذي يُؤثّر سلبًا على النُموّ الإقتصادي.
    ثانيًا: تُعاني المصارف من شحّ في السيُولة بالليرة اللبنانيّة بسبب توظيف الجزء الأكبر من أموالها في سندات الخزينة بالليرة، وبفعل مدّها القطاع العام بتسليفات مالية كبيرة، والقطاع الخاص بتسليفات مالية أصغر حجمًا.
    ثالثًا: إنّ الفوائد المُرتفعة وحتى السخيّة التي يُقدّمها مصرف لبنان للمصارف اللبنانيّة في مُقابل ودائعها لديه، ساهمت في إستهلاك قدراته، إلى جانب الضُغوط الماليّة التي يتعرّض لها لتلبية الكثير من الإستحقاقات، على الرغم من أنّها ليست كلّها داهمة، بل هي على مراحل، لكنّ خطرها يكمن في ضخامتها.
    رابعًا: بسبب تحوّل أصول المصارف إلى إئتمان للقطاع العام، فقدت المصارف دور الوسيط الذي يُفترض أن تلعبه في دورة النشاط الإقتصادي الطبيعي، وصارت مُتأثّرة بالوضع المالي الصعب والضعيف للقطاع العام، الأمر الذي إنعكس سلبًا على وضعها المالي وعلى سيولتها النقدية المُتحرّكة.
    خامسًا: لبنان سيصل قريبًا إلى مرحلة من العجز المالي الكامل، نتيجة إنعدام التوازن بين الواردات والمصاريف، الأمر الذي من شأنه أن يُهدّد الإستقرار المالي بشكل تام.
    في المُقابل، وإضافة إلى الأرقام الإيجابيّة التي أعلنها الحاكم سلامة، بشأن إرتفاع إحتياطي البنك المركزي خلال أوّل شهرين من العام الحالي وبشأن فائض ميزان المدفوعات، وبحسب الإقتصاديّين الواثقين من ثبات سعر صرف الدولار في المرحلة المُقبلة، فهم ينطلقون بدورهم من جملة من الوقائع والمُعطيات، وفي هذا السياق، يُمكن تعداد ما يلي:
    أوّلاً: إنّ مصرف لبنان لن يتوقّف عن سياسة دعم الليرة كما يُطالب البعض، وهو مُصرّ على التدخّل في السوق للحفاظ على تثبيت سعر صرف الليرة، مهما تطلّب هذا الأمر من إستهلاك لإحتياطه الحالي من الدولار والعملات الأجنبيّة.
    ثانيًا: إنّ حجم الإحتياط النقدي الذي يملكه المصرف المركزي كبير، ما يؤكّد قدرة المصرف على التعامل مع أزمة تطول لأسابيع عدّة، وليس مُجرّد أزمة عابرة لبضعة أيّام، علمًا أنّ إحتياطي الذهب كفيل بدوره بزيادة عوامل الإطمئنان.
    ثالثًا: إنّ 65 % من الودائع في لبنان هي بالدولار، ما يعني أنّ المُودعين الذين قد يُحوّلون أموالهم من الليرة إلى الدولار أو إلى أي عملة أجنبيّة، يُشكّلون الأقليّة.
    رابعًا: إنّ رفع الفوائد المَصرفيّة على الودائع بالليرة اللبنانيّة أغرى الكثير من المُودعين، حيث جمّدوا حساباتهم لفترات زمنيّة طويلة نسبيًا تتراوح بين ثلاثة أشهر وسنة كاملة، الأمر الذي يُساعد في تهدئة السوق.
    خامسًا: إنّ المُؤتمرات الدَوليّة التي ستنعقد لدعم لبنان، لا يُمكن إلا وأنّ تُعزّز الأجواء الإيجابية العامة، وأن تعود بالفائدة على القُدرات المالية للدولة، ولوّ عبر قروض لا تُسهم في الواقع سوى بإرجاء المُشكلة بضع سنوات إلى الأمام.
    في الختام، صحيح أنّ الكثير من الخُبراء الإقتصاديّين ينتقدون السياسة المالية لمصرف لبنان وللدولة اللبنانيّة ككل، لجهة أنّها تُعطي الأولويّة لثبات النقد المالي وليس لتحريك الدورة الإقتصادية بشكل طبيعي، ولجهة أنّها تُغرق لبنان بالديون بدلاً من اللجُوء إلى خطّة إقتصاديّة وماليّة مُنتجة، لكنّ الأصحّ أنّ هذا الموضوع ليس بجديد على الإطلاق، وليس له أيّ تأثير مُباشر وفوري على ثبات سعر الليرة. وبالتالي، من الضروري وقف الحديث عن خطر إنهيار الليرة، ووقف الترويج لخبر إرتفاع سعر صرف الدولار الأميركي إلى 3000 ليرة لبنانيّة، للمُساعدة في الحفاظ على أموال اللبنانيّين، ولدعم الإقتصاد اللبناني ولوّ معنويًا. وفي الوقت عينه، على الجميع رفع الصوت عاليًا، بأنّ الآوان قد حان لإطلاق خطّة عمل إقتصاديّة وماليّة غير خطط الإستدانة المُستمرّة منذ عقدين ونصف العقد، لكن من دون تهديد الإستقرار النقدي القائم في لبنان. وهذا يعني أنّ الإصلاحات الماليّة والإقتصاديّة مطلوبة اليوم قبل الغد، لكنّها يجب أن تتمّ في ظلّ أجواء هادئة ومُستقرّة، وليس في ظلّ أجواء مُضطربة تُغذّيها إشاعات وحملة إعلامية تخيف اللبنانيّين وتُهدّد بضرب سعر عملتهم الوطنيّة وقيمة أموالهم!.
     

    The Jade

    Legendary Member
    It Could Be Crunch Time for World's Third Most-Indebted Country

    It Could Be Crunch Time for World's Third Most-Indebted Country

    Caught in conflict and with precarious finances, Lebanon is talking about a Greek-style rescue package.
    Step inside the Greek Orthodox cathedral in Beirut’s central Nejmeh Square and you could be in Athens: priests with long black robes and beards lead prayers and worshipers cross themselves in front of icons.

    The problem for Lebanon, the world’s third most-indebted country, is that it’s starting to look more like Greece financially. And if Greece’s survival as part of the euro was crucial to the European project, Lebanon is key to keeping what’s left of peace in the Middle East.

    “I don’t think the gravity of the situation is understood by everyone,” deputy Prime Minister Ghassan Hasbani said in his office in Beirut. The time has come for an international aid package that will force Lebanon to reform, “the same way that Greece was salvaged, but before it’s too late,” he said.

    There’s nothing new about a nation held together by a delicate sectarian power balance being on the brink. But what is new is that Lebanon has never had to face such a daunting set of challenges at the same time, and all while it can count less on traditional sources of money from abroad, whether the diaspora or erstwhile Saudi benefactors.

    The country is a political battleground between regional foes Saudi Arabia and Iran, which back opposite sides in the seven-year war next door in Syria.

    That conflict has sent 1.5 million Syrians over the border, the most refugees per capita, blocked land exports and caused fights between Lebanese factions that stymied efforts to ease the strain on the country’s finances. There’s also a U.S.-led effort to curb the power of Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

    Lebanese bonds have tumbled and bank deposits are growing at their slowest pace since the end of the civil war almost 30 years ago. Government revenue can’t keep up with spending as the economy splutters and politicians squabble before May elections. The budget deficit ballooned to more than 10 percent of gross domestic product.

    Last month, the International Monetary Fund sounded the alarm bell. It said the economy is on an unsustainable path and required urgent action.


    The central bank needs to mitigate a slowdown in bank deposits, whose growth has helped support soaring public debt, the IMF said. It currently amounts to $79 billion, or 150 percent of gross domestic product, though the IMF said Lebanon will likely see it reach 180 percent in five years.

    That would put it where Greece stands now after the country underwent the world’s biggest debt restructuring in 2012. Japan is the only country with a bigger debt ratio, but it's not at the mercy of external forces because its currency trades freely unlike dollar-pegged Lebanon or euro-member Greece.

    Lebanon will seek to raise funds for a $16 billion infrastructure program at a donor conference scheduled next month in Paris. In the markets, investors are selling, and the rise in bond yields will make servicing costs more burdensome and the level of debt even more unsustainable, Ziad Daoud, an economist at Bloomberg Economics, wrote last week.

    The yield on Lebanon’s dollar-denominated bonds due 2037 jumped 59 basis points last month, the most since the debt was issued last year. The debt used to be a haven in times of market turbulence because of the backing of local banks, but the gain was almost triple the average increase for emerging-market bonds in February, according a Bloomberg Barclays index.

    “The reason why it’s no longer a safe trade is due to liquidity because banks no longer provide liquidity,” said Marwan Doumith, who manages about $250 million invested in Lebanese Eurobonds at Blominvest Bank Sal in Beirut.

    Foreign investors hold about $8 billion, or 30 percent, of outstanding Eurobonds, he estimated. That’s more than twice the proportion of a few years ago, Doumith said, “which is now a risky situation.” As for the donor conference, “we’re not sure how much the government will be able to bring in,” he said. Blominvest said Doumith’s opinions were his own and not the bank’s.

    The precarious financial position reflects the increasingly dire state of the economy and deteriorating governance, with Lebanon slipping down Transparency International's corruption ranking to 143rd of 180 countries.

    Parliament only managed to pass a budget in 2017 for the first time in 12 years. There’s been a garbage collection crisis and efforts to open up the electricity and telecommunications industries to bring in vital foreign investment have floundered.

    More than 70 percent of expenditure goes on government salaries and debt servicing while up to 10 percent goes to subsidizing electricity, leaving the government very little room to cut spending.

    While Hasbani said Lebanon needs international help, there are questions where it might come from.

    Some Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, have balked at helping Lebanon financially like they did in the past because of Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed group that wields so much influence in Lebanon.

    Relations with the Saudis appear to be thawing. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri received a statesman's welcome in Riyadh last week. It came after an episode in November when he flew to the Saudi capital and was pressured to announce his resignation only to return to Beirut and be reinstated.

    Saudi Arabia will attend donor conferences in Europe this year, including one in Paris and another in Rome, to raise money for Lebanese infrastructure and the the military, Hariri said on Sunday. The Saudis “confirmed their active participation in these conferences,” he said.

    But his recent trip was more politically symbolic than about securing financial aid, according to Hani Sabra, founder of New York-based Alef Advisory.

    “I don't believe Saudi Arabia is planning to provide Lebanon with a large assistance package,” Sabra said. “The trend in Lebanon has been the empowerment of forces, like Hezbollah, that are in opposition to Saudi interests. An injection of money from Riyadh won't really reverse the trend or deliver on advancing Saudi interests in Lebanon or the broader region.”


    Lebanon relies on private-sector bank deposits, mainly from millions of Lebanese living abroad sending money back, to keep the banks stable and defend the dollar peg. As long as the money kept flowing, banks were happy to gobble up government debt.

    While deposit growth slowed to 3.8 percent last year because of the Hariri incident in November, central bank Governor Riad Salameh said the financial system has demonstrated its resilience.

    Lebanon saw outflows of $2 billion after Hariri announced his surprise resignation. Some banks sent offers by text message and cold-called Lebanese living abroad with offers of higher interest rates. One bank is offering as much as 6 percent on deposits of $1 million or above. The rate rises to 10.50 percent for high local-currency deposits.

    The $2 billion has gradually returned, with inflows exceeding outflows since Dec. 10, Salameh said in an interview

    “Fear was created and despite that we held,” he said. Outflows in November were proportionally lower than during two other big crises -- the 2005 assassination of Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and the 2006 Israeli war with Lebanon.

    Some agree that Lebanon has what it takes to hold up. Its bonds still offer a good yield and foreign reserves remain sizable compared to its external deficit, said Giuliano Palumbo, a senior portfolio manager at Euromobiliare who helps manage 20 billion euros ($21 billion) of assets including Lebanese government bonds.

    A stroll through downtown Beirut, where the St. George Orthodox Cathedral sits among the mosques, gives a taste of decline.

    The streets that buzzed with Gulf tourists through the first couple of years of the Syrian war -- they made up 30 percent of consumption in Lebanon in the peak June-to-October period -- only see a bit of life on the weekend. Vacant stores line the streets, their fronts collecting dust.

    Lawmaker Ibrahim Kanaan, head of the finance and budget parliamentary committee, said the government is studying measures to reduce debt servicing and end wasteful spending, such as on music festivals.

    “There is an awareness among the main parliamentary blocs that we can no longer continue like that,” Kanaan said. “Yes, we’re late, but it’s better late than never.”
     

    Aoune32!

    Well-Known Member
    It Could Be Crunch Time for World's Third Most-Indebted Country

    It Could Be Crunch Time for World's Third Most-Indebted Country

    Caught in conflict and with precarious finances, Lebanon is talking about a Greek-style rescue package.
    Step inside the Greek Orthodox cathedral in Beirut’s central Nejmeh Square and you could be in Athens: priests with long black robes and beards lead prayers and worshipers cross themselves in front of icons.

    The problem for Lebanon, the world’s third most-indebted country, is that it’s starting to look more like Greece financially. And if Greece’s survival as part of the euro was crucial to the European project, Lebanon is key to keeping what’s left of peace in the Middle East.

    “I don’t think the gravity of the situation is understood by everyone,” deputy Prime Minister Ghassan Hasbani said in his office in Beirut. The time has come for an international aid package that will force Lebanon to reform, “the same way that Greece was salvaged, but before it’s too late,” he said.

    There’s nothing new about a nation held together by a delicate sectarian power balance being on the brink. But what is new is that Lebanon has never had to face such a daunting set of challenges at the same time, and all while it can count less on traditional sources of money from abroad, whether the diaspora or erstwhile Saudi benefactors.

    The country is a political battleground between regional foes Saudi Arabia and Iran, which back opposite sides in the seven-year war next door in Syria.

    That conflict has sent 1.5 million Syrians over the border, the most refugees per capita, blocked land exports and caused fights between Lebanese factions that stymied efforts to ease the strain on the country’s finances. There’s also a U.S.-led effort to curb the power of Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

    Lebanese bonds have tumbled and bank deposits are growing at their slowest pace since the end of the civil war almost 30 years ago. Government revenue can’t keep up with spending as the economy splutters and politicians squabble before May elections. The budget deficit ballooned to more than 10 percent of gross domestic product.

    Last month, the International Monetary Fund sounded the alarm bell. It said the economy is on an unsustainable path and required urgent action.


    The central bank needs to mitigate a slowdown in bank deposits, whose growth has helped support soaring public debt, the IMF said. It currently amounts to $79 billion, or 150 percent of gross domestic product, though the IMF said Lebanon will likely see it reach 180 percent in five years.

    That would put it where Greece stands now after the country underwent the world’s biggest debt restructuring in 2012. Japan is the only country with a bigger debt ratio, but it's not at the mercy of external forces because its currency trades freely unlike dollar-pegged Lebanon or euro-member Greece.

    Lebanon will seek to raise funds for a $16 billion infrastructure program at a donor conference scheduled next month in Paris. In the markets, investors are selling, and the rise in bond yields will make servicing costs more burdensome and the level of debt even more unsustainable, Ziad Daoud, an economist at Bloomberg Economics, wrote last week.

    The yield on Lebanon’s dollar-denominated bonds due 2037 jumped 59 basis points last month, the most since the debt was issued last year. The debt used to be a haven in times of market turbulence because of the backing of local banks, but the gain was almost triple the average increase for emerging-market bonds in February, according a Bloomberg Barclays index.

    “The reason why it’s no longer a safe trade is due to liquidity because banks no longer provide liquidity,” said Marwan Doumith, who manages about $250 million invested in Lebanese Eurobonds at Blominvest Bank Sal in Beirut.

    Foreign investors hold about $8 billion, or 30 percent, of outstanding Eurobonds, he estimated. That’s more than twice the proportion of a few years ago, Doumith said, “which is now a risky situation.” As for the donor conference, “we’re not sure how much the government will be able to bring in,” he said. Blominvest said Doumith’s opinions were his own and not the bank’s.

    The precarious financial position reflects the increasingly dire state of the economy and deteriorating governance, with Lebanon slipping down Transparency International's corruption ranking to 143rd of 180 countries.

    Parliament only managed to pass a budget in 2017 for the first time in 12 years. There’s been a garbage collection crisis and efforts to open up the electricity and telecommunications industries to bring in vital foreign investment have floundered.

    More than 70 percent of expenditure goes on government salaries and debt servicing while up to 10 percent goes to subsidizing electricity, leaving the government very little room to cut spending.

    While Hasbani said Lebanon needs international help, there are questions where it might come from.

    Some Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, have balked at helping Lebanon financially like they did in the past because of Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed group that wields so much influence in Lebanon.

    Relations with the Saudis appear to be thawing. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri received a statesman's welcome in Riyadh last week. It came after an episode in November when he flew to the Saudi capital and was pressured to announce his resignation only to return to Beirut and be reinstated.

    Saudi Arabia will attend donor conferences in Europe this year, including one in Paris and another in Rome, to raise money for Lebanese infrastructure and the the military, Hariri said on Sunday. The Saudis “confirmed their active participation in these conferences,” he said.

    But his recent trip was more politically symbolic than about securing financial aid, according to Hani Sabra, founder of New York-based Alef Advisory.

    “I don't believe Saudi Arabia is planning to provide Lebanon with a large assistance package,” Sabra said. “The trend in Lebanon has been the empowerment of forces, like Hezbollah, that are in opposition to Saudi interests. An injection of money from Riyadh won't really reverse the trend or deliver on advancing Saudi interests in Lebanon or the broader region.”


    Lebanon relies on private-sector bank deposits, mainly from millions of Lebanese living abroad sending money back, to keep the banks stable and defend the dollar peg. As long as the money kept flowing, banks were happy to gobble up government debt.

    While deposit growth slowed to 3.8 percent last year because of the Hariri incident in November, central bank Governor Riad Salameh said the financial system has demonstrated its resilience.

    Lebanon saw outflows of $2 billion after Hariri announced his surprise resignation. Some banks sent offers by text message and cold-called Lebanese living abroad with offers of higher interest rates. One bank is offering as much as 6 percent on deposits of $1 million or above. The rate rises to 10.50 percent for high local-currency deposits.

    The $2 billion has gradually returned, with inflows exceeding outflows since Dec. 10, Salameh said in an interview

    “Fear was created and despite that we held,” he said. Outflows in November were proportionally lower than during two other big crises -- the 2005 assassination of Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and the 2006 Israeli war with Lebanon.

    Some agree that Lebanon has what it takes to hold up. Its bonds still offer a good yield and foreign reserves remain sizable compared to its external deficit, said Giuliano Palumbo, a senior portfolio manager at Euromobiliare who helps manage 20 billion euros ($21 billion) of assets including Lebanese government bonds.

    A stroll through downtown Beirut, where the St. George Orthodox Cathedral sits among the mosques, gives a taste of decline.

    The streets that buzzed with Gulf tourists through the first couple of years of the Syrian war -- they made up 30 percent of consumption in Lebanon in the peak June-to-October period -- only see a bit of life on the weekend. Vacant stores line the streets, their fronts collecting dust.

    Lawmaker Ibrahim Kanaan, head of the finance and budget parliamentary committee, said the government is studying measures to reduce debt servicing and end wasteful spending, such as on music festivals.

    “There is an awareness among the main parliamentary blocs that we can no longer continue like that,” Kanaan said. “Yes, we’re late, but it’s better late than never.”
    mat2elo heike la @LVV
    GDP b hal balad isn't growing. In 2010 prior to Hariri resignation it was 9-10%, now it is 1%.
    The country is in dire straits. Why do you think most people (mostly poor state workers) are actually yelling and screaming? They really are finding it tough. Their money goes in 2 weeks and they don't know what to do. Most of the state workers that aren't Grade 1 or 2 really don't earn that much. What does 1 million LL or 1.5 million LL do these days?
    The point of one's life is not only to work and then place it back into the economy which what happens in Lebanon. It is also to do something with my life, save money buy a house etc
     

    superduper703

    Well-Known Member
    mat2elo heike la @LVV
    GDP b hal balad isn't growing. In 2010 prior to Hariri resignation it was 9-10%, now it is 1%.
    The country is in dire straits. Why do you think most people (mostly poor state workers) are actually yelling and screaming? They really are finding it tough. Their money goes in 2 weeks and they don't know what to do. Most of the state workers that aren't Grade 1 or 2 really don't earn that much. What does 1 million LL or 1.5 million LL do these days?
    The point of one's life is not only to work and then place it back into the economy which what happens in Lebanon. It is also to do something with my life, save money buy a house etc
    The shit is going to hit the fan soon. FPMers will still be posting about "accomplishments" from Bassil and his president.
     

    Aoune32!

    Well-Known Member
    The shit is going to hit the fan soon. FPMers will still be posting about "accomplishments" from Bassil and his president.
    If in the government they want to get serious about growth and fighting corruption it is not that hard. It is a small country with a small economy compared to the world. This is what we need.

    1) We need to stop the refugees syrians, palestinians etc from taking Lebanese jobs. The workforce should only take foreigners IF there are no Lebanese willing to do the work. Also, if they do take foreigners no company can have more than 20% + the foreigners need to pay taxes to the state.
    2) Do not import products that we produce locally. Why do we need to import apples and olives masalan?? yel3an ekhta 3ana ktir apples and Koura is the region for olives. The state needs to wake up and focus on our local producers. Our people need their help.
    3) We need to stop the ministries from wasting money. The contractors in all government departments need to be either given a permanent job or fired AND no more contractors allowed to be hired.
    4) If a ministry needs to be privatized as the government can't take of it nor do anything with it since it has too much corruption then do it. Privatize it. The whole world does this. In Australia all telephone companies are privatized and most things are not even owned by the gov.
    5) Decentralization. Let the local people be in charge of each area and it's needs. The central gov has too much to think about it to worry about a village in the South or North or Bekaa. We need local representation which will probably also fail as what do the MPs do aslan??
     
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