Lebanese politicians (the oligarchs) have not yet paused to reflect at the damage they have inflicted upon the wealth of the Lebanese people. At a time when they have seen their wealth grow exponentially in the past 3 decades, the economy has been reached near collapse with record debt and depleted capital. Today, they continue to deplete Lebanon’s foreign currency reserves by transferring their money abroad into foreign banks and investments.
Politicians are Partnering with Diaspora
Informed sources have claimed that one of relatives of a current Shiite MP is undertaking huge investments in the city of Doha, Qatar. The investments are done in partnership with Lebanese entrepreneurs residing in Qatar. Sources went on to say that one contractor, closely related to a current Lebanese political leader is investing these Lebanese funds in the Qatar construction sector. In addition, this contractor is also looking for a partner to construct hotels in the state of California and is currently looking for more Lebanese partners to business.
Investments of the Lebanese oligarchs span across multiple countries like Switzerland, Canada, Italy, Cyprus, Turkey, Iraq, and others. In Iraq, on MP of the Shiite Duo is participating in the construction of the largest hotel in Najaf. In addition, they have acquired vast areas of land in Karbala along the entrances of the shrine of Imam al-Hussein upon which a number of hotels will also be constructed as investment in the pilgrimage seasons.
A former government and parliamentary figure owns a chain of hotels in Cyprus, as well as a large group of commercial properties on one street in Canada. In Switzerland and Turkey, Investments from Lebanese politicians in real estate and tourism are booming, and such is the case in Italy where many mansions and palaces worth billions of dollars are owned by Lebanese politicians.
Instead of trying to retrieve whatever capital that left Lebanon in the past, the political class is instead busy looking for investment opportunities abroad. After leaving the country in ruin and driving it into bankruptcy, they are seeking Lebanese contractors abroad to help them invest and launder the money they have made off the backs of the hardworking Lebanese diaspora. Will the new government be able to do something to recover what’s left of Lebanon’s money that is being invested in projects abroad by the ruling political class?