Hariri: The deficit reduction is a message in all directions and the winner is the Lebanese people

The President of the Council of Ministers Saad Hariri sponsored Saturday evening the Iftar of the Future Movement liberal professions section, at the Seaside Arena. On this occasion, he said:

This morning, they told me that there will not be a speech at the iftar. But I said, if we don’t speak at the iftar of the liberal professions, where could words be valuable

You laid the cornerstone of the Future Movement. You started the work with Martyr Prime Minister Saad Hariri and my decision is to continue with you today, tomorrow and ten years from now.

Liberal professions are the striking force behind the project of advancing the country. It is the elite of the country, and includes engineers, doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, journalists, writers and accountants. That is more than half of the middle class in Lebanon.

Yesterday, we finished the budget and with it ended the bet of some people on the failure of the government to reduce the deficit and expenses and control squander.

The percentage of deficit reduction is a message in all directions, to the Lebanese in the first place, to the economic sector, the financial markets and our friends in the international community. The message is that the Lebanese government is determined to address the weakness, imbalance and squander in the public sector and that it insists on the highest degree of transparency in implementing the CEDRE program.

The 2019 budget is not the end. This budget is the beginning of a long road that we decided to take in order to lead the Lebanese economy to safety.

You remember that when we started talking about the budget, I said that there would be difficult decisions. In the past years, we disagreed on politics, between March 8 and March 14. This affected the country, and there were no more projects, electricity, budgetsToday, things are different, we want to fix what happened earlier, it is not easy and requires sacrifices.

We have two choices: Either we continue as we are and wait for the World Bank to impose impossible conditions on us, as happened in Jordan, Egypt and Greece, and then we will be obliged to implement the conditions. Or we do what we are doing today, do our internal reform before reaching the danger zone.

This phase will not be long. One or two years after implementing CEDRE, things will move. After applying the budget, you will notice that things changed, and we will see many tourists this summer, because we managed to reconcile with our brothers in the Gulf and all Arab countries.

We had to meet 19 times to approve the budget. Some think that there was some waste of time. Yes, there was in some places. But in others no, because for the first time, we were working as a group to reach the best figures and projects to reduce the deficit. It is not easy, especially that many political groups gathered to prepare the budget, and each has its economic ideas and wants to come out as the winner. What they did not understand is that Lebanon is the winner from this budget, and not any political team. The Lebanese are the winners and this is what was important to me.

This is why I took time and was very patient. But the 2020 budget will not take that much, because now we know what we want to do. The 2019 budget is the beginning of the process of what we want to do in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Source: National News Agency