Bassil Says ‘Lira Rumors’ Aimed at Influencing Govt. Shape

Free Patriotic Movement chief and caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil has warned that “rumors” about the resilience of the Lebanese currency are aimed at influencing the structure of the new government.

“We as Lebanese have to choose between officials who want to work and officials who want to lie,” said Bassil at a meeting with the Lebanese community in Boston, on the eve of his participation in the works of the U.N. General Assembly in New York as part of the Lebanese delegation that is led by President Michel Aoun.

“Our conflict in Lebanon is between the past and the future,” Bassil added, noting that “we must only pick the good parts of the past.”

“Whenever you hear them lying, be confident that someone will confront them. A lot of things will be achieved… and the presidential term — which they do not want to succeed — has succeeded and will continue to succeed,” the FPM chief emphasized.

He added: “They are likening us to themselves but we are not like them. Unfortunately, Lebanon is living an atmosphere of rumors and this is frustrating the people. Instead of moving from a truth to another they are transferring us from one lie into another, as if for example power cuts would only affect a certain group.”

And lamenting that “their entire concern is focused on making the presidential term a failure,” Bassil stressed that “what has been achieved over the past two years — such as liberating Lebanon from terrorism and the electoral law — is sufficient to consider the presidential term a success.”

“Our economic situation is not only linked to the formation of the government. They are fabricating rumors about the lira and other issues in order to form the government that they want. We on the other hand consider the formation of the government a necessity, but the issue is not enough for the rise of the economy,” Bassil said.

“We are the wounded and the martyrs of obstruction,” the FPM chief added, calling for the formation of a “functional government.