If yes, I am guilty

Raoul Nehme - Yes I am guilty

A series of tweets by the Minister of Economy and Trade, Raoul Nehme, through his Twitter account:

• Two days ago, some protesters stormed the Ministry of Economy building and attempted to storm a home building. They also hung “the gallows” for me under a political project behind which there are question marks and a lie, “Raul Nehme lifted support” except for what preceded it from false news that was fabricated with skill and with a clear aim: Raoul Nehme is the culprit. The reason behind all the crises we live in.

• Yes, I am guilty because I decided to support basic materials in May 2020 as an imperfect solution, but an emergency, no alternative and a temporary solution to preserve the remaining purchasing power of citizens, provided that it is accompanied by the government’s preparation of a comprehensive plan to reform the subsidy policy within three months.

• I am guilty of being the first to submit a proposal after two weeks in June 2020 to reform the current support plan and direct support to those in need, which leads to fixing the loopholes of the emergency plan that was put in place and to stop all the smuggling and waste gutters, while a vicious campaign was launched against my proposal at that time.

• I am guilty, because I worked on proposing a comprehensive plan to replace commodity subsidies with a cash compensation program with wide coverage for Lebanese citizens in cooperation with the World Bank on December 16, 2020, and I provided a detailed explanation about it to public opinion, economists and politicians.

• I am guilty of trying to preempt the crisis by working on a comprehensive plan for subsidy reform while I am not the legally authorized party to take the decision to rationalize subsidies or not, and I have repeatedly warned that there is no luxury to waste time to approve a plan to support individuals instead of goods while none of the concerned parties has the courage to take the decision and take responsibility for it. The people.

• I am guilty, because I chose not to observe seclusion and never failed to assume my responsibilities and to take bold and sometimes painful decisions in light of the high exchange rate of the dollar and the prices of raw materials worldwide based on scientific and purely economic studies and in order to preserve food security.

• I am guilty, because I worked on the Capital Control Law to prevent the smuggling of large depositors ’money abroad and to protect small depositors, but a well-known political party obstructed it, and this doubled the size of the crisis. The Haircut result was 70% convincing, including small depositors.

• I am guilty, because I worked on approving the criminal audit and called for the necessity of concluding an agreement with the International Monetary Fund as a primary solution to the crisis.

• I am guilty of having worked on an economic reform plan that would change our reality by stimulating the productive and intellectual sectors for economic advancement and abandoning the rentier economic policies adopted 30 years ago that brought us to our current economic deficit.

• I am guilty because I told people that the existing laws do not give the Ministry of Economy the deterrent power to combat fraud and market slippage, while I have prepared a draft amendment of the Consumer Protection Law to reach effective protection in terms of monitoring, investigation and immediate penalties.

• I am guilty of having worked on the competition law, which leads to the prevention of monopoly, hegemony and the abolition of exclusive agencies, which allows for the promotion of competition and thus lower prices and not to be manipulated.

• Is my great sin in the country of empty promises that I have never failed to fulfill my responsibilities and strive to preserve the livelihood of the poor and to pass laws and plans that help us get out of the crisis?

Or is it my unforgivable sin that I never participated in the media game and populist empty talk? No, but I told the Lebanese about all the facts, no matter how difficult and painful they were. If yes, I am guilty.