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Maronite patriarch: an innocent people suffer the sins of their leaders


New attack by Card. Raï on politicians incapable of forming a government to guarantee stability to the nation. Fears of the impending withdrawal of subsidies, which could trigger further price hikes. International conference and neutrality to save a collapsing nation.

Beirut (AsiaNews / Agencies) – The Maronite patriarch has again berated Lebanese political and institutional leaders who for months have been unable to form a stable, authoritative and independent government, while at the same time invoking the help of the international community for an exhausted population.

The words of Card. Beshara Raï bind themselves to the invitation to prayer launched by Pope Francis who yesterday at the Angelus announced a meeting in the Vatican with the Christian leaders, scheduled for July 1st, for a day of reflection on the situation in the country and to pray for peace.

The Maronite patriarch wondered if the state is plotting against its own people, while the nation is sinking into a crisis that has lasted almost two years. Hence the warning issued to the international community to urgently intervene in favour of the population, without conditioning support for the formation of a government that has been in hiding for more than 10 months.

During the homily for Sunday Mass, the cardinal criticized the lack of medicines and other basic necessities, at a stage in which the authorities are preparing to revoke subsidies on some products, raising fears of an even more marked increase in prices.

“Part of the crisis – he stressed – was caused by greed and the monopoly policy. It is time to rationalize the subsidies, without touching the compulsory reserves of the Bank of Lebanon”.

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However, amid delays and gaps in funding, “it is the citizens who end up paying” the price of political and institutional inefficiencies and incapacity.

The Maronite patriarch also recalls that “it is up to the security services and judicial authorities” to control stocks in warehouses “to put an end to the monopoly” and to patrol the borders “to combat smuggling”.

“The people are innocent of the behaviour of his state and of the political class in general. People deserve to be helped, because they deserve to live “- he warns addressing world governments that can influence the Lebanese crisis.

Behind the continuing state of crisis there is the political and personal clash between President Michel Aoun and the interim Prime Minister Saad Hariri, whose divisions have effectively blocked the formation of the government. The birth of which, moreover, is a necessary condition for the release of international economic and financial aid frozen due to the crisis itself.

Card. Raï again called for an international conference under the aegis of the United Nations, without which “there will be no solution to the political, economic, financial and social crisis” combined with the application of the resolutions of the UN Security Council.

Finally, the Cardinal raised the issue of Lebanon’s “neutrality” which has earned him criticism from Hezbollah and its allies, considering it the only way to salvation for the Land of the Cedars in the face of tensions in the Middle East region.





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