Kataeb leader Samy Gemayel on Monday stressed that the authority is their adversary so whoever does not associate himself with it is considered an ally.
“Our problem lies in the government’s performance,” Gemayel said during an interview on Al-Jadeed TV station.
He noted that the economic collapse is the result of an approved salary scale without conducting any study, corruption, squandering and political tensions.
“The Presidential settlement failed to save the country. It is time to stand against the settlement and to form an opposition force that voices out the public opinion and replaces the state’s approach with a state of law, sovereignty and independence,” he added.
“Our goal is not to win but for the country to win, or else we would’ve adhered to the political settlement. We are convinced that the settlement is not made for the sake of the country,”
“We will go along with any alliance that serves Lebanon’s interest,” Gemayel stressed.
“If we did not break the sectarian affiliation barriers, we cannot build a state or a country; therefore, one of our goals is to shatter those barriers in order to establish a state of law,” Gemayel indicated.
“The country is collapsing and the state has no say in this as chaos has spread. It is our duty to portray things as they are,” Gemayel stated, noting that there’s no other choice but to enforce accountability and to pressure officials to reduce their mistakes and to later on bring on a new set of officials to revive this country.
“The country is facing grave security danger where some are dragging Lebanon into regional conflicts while economic hazards are looming,”
“Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah is the only one associating Lebanon to the foreign policy. It is as if the ruling authority has granted Hezbollah the defense and foreign policies as part of the settlement,” he voiced surprise.
“The speech of Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah violates the principle of neutrality, the State’s sovereignty and its exclusive decision-making on war and peace,” Gemayel uttered.
“Nasrallah is dragging Lebanon into conflicts they have no business in and what is more dangerous is that the sanctions against Hezbollah associates are affecting all the Lebanese. How can we give right to one party to make the population pay the price for its own decisions?”
“I oppose the U.S. sanctions on Hezbollah MPs but they are the result of the party’s actions which are being paid for by the Lebanese people. I disagree with Speaker Nabih Berri that US sanctions are an attack on Lebanon,”
“I oppose Hezbollah’s interferences in the region; they weren’t decided on by the Lebanese people so we shouldn’t pay the price for it and for its meddling in the Syrian war,” he argued.
“When Hezbollah violates the state’s sovereignty by owning illegal arms and getting into regional wars, it cannot ask the Lebanese to pay the price for it and to support it,” he slammed.
“Sanctions were applied against Hezbollah because it considered itself part of the Iranian system. The solution would be for Hezbollah to renege on regional interferences to protect Lebanon and its people,”
“When we notified the people, they accused us of being populists. The party had repeatedly warned of everything Lebanon is facing today, especially when it comes to public debt, unemployment and the state budget impasse,” Gemayel emphasized.
The Kataeb leader affirmed that other politicians are standing with them in the Parliament as an opposition force such as MPs Paula Yaacoubian, Oussama Saad, and Fouad Makhzoomi.
He pointed out that the party had submitted an appeal contesting the government’s power plan which led to it being annulled.
As for the state budget, Gemayel described it as the phantom budget because no one knew how it reached the Parliament while the people stand against it.
“It is a mystery as how the state budget received a unanimous vote in the government while suddenly bidding started in the Parliament. This is a distortion of democracy,” Gemayel indicated.
“All revenues are based on 1.3% growth while there seems to be a negative growth, consequently the budget figures will be false,” he blasted.
“The Finance and Budget Committee has undertaken a task which should’ve been done by the government. The economic crisis requires drastic measures,” Gemayel deplored.
The Kataeb leader asserted that the state's deficit should be reduced by addressing random employment and favoritism, as well as ending tax evasion.
“Illegal hires exist in all ministries. The public sector encompasses 40% of the state spending while it is 15% in other countries,” he noted.
“Illegal smuggling routes cost the state an estimation of $4.9 billion yearly; the depletion of half of this smuggling would at least add 15% to the state’s revenues,” he explained.
“It is the state’s responsibility to enforce its sovereignty across the entire Lebanese territory. Who is stopping the Defense Minister from controlling the borders?” he questioned.
“The Partitioning which took place in the Constitutional Council’s appointments was an attempt to control the judiciary and the highest authority for the Lebanese people to review,”
Gemayel hailed the “Alternative Punishment to Imprisonment” law approval; a law proposed by the Kataeb party to replace imprisonment for petty crimes of less than 1 year in prison.
He condemned the electricity plan stalemate caused by disagreements among the ruling authority members.
“The Costa Brava landfill must be shut down. Until now, no judicial decision has been made to halt works in the landfill and the state is asking for people to respect the environment while it is not even carrying a study of the environmental impact,” Gemayel confirmed.
“Sukleen and the new company that are working on the waste management file earn more than the total cost as they are paid by the government,” he slammed, proposing numerous solutions to resolve the issue such as recycling facilities and sorting at source.
“We can still move the country forward but we must first place ourselves under its laws. We call on the people to observe and hold accountability,” he said.
“We shall not compromise but we need you to stand with us to achieve the real change that the Lebanese aspire to,” Gemayel concluded.