Corruption is the source of all ailments that cause state and institutional decay. It causes paralysis, sterility, and a spiraling downfall towards the abyss. This diagnosis describes the ailment within the structure of the state since 1992, and it remains valid until today. The continuation of the same practices by the same political ruling class and their tools has led to the exacerbation of the financial, monetary, and economic crisis that Lebanon has been going through since the initial announcement of the Paris 4 conference to aid Lebanon (CEDRE).
In this context, a recording of a World Bank expert who audited the Paris 2 and Paris 3 conferences was released. In the audio clip, the expert explained Lebanon’s economic conditions to give recommendations for the Paris 4 conference aka “CEDRE”.
Highlights from the leaked audio clip show the expert explaining that: “The Lebanese government is asking us to grant it the same confidence we did during Paris 1-2-3. Yet, I find that very difficult. The renaming of the conference to CEDRE instead of Paris 4 meant that the first 3 have failed.”
He continues: “This is the first time in History when the French government organized such a conference only a few weeks before a parliamentary election.” Asking: “Is this an attempt to protect those in power?” Adding that: “Ever since 1999, we have written detailed reports on how to tackle corruption and reduce public deficits!”
The expert goes on to describe the situation in Lebanon by saying: “Lebanon is afflicted by a cancer, and this cancer is the lack of governance, and as a result the level of corruption has become unrivaled.”
He expressed his astonishment at the level of corruption in Lebanon by saying: “ We have worked in 25 African countries, and have yet to see this level of corruption anywhere else!”
He pointed out that: “Just applying existing tax and customs laws can bring in 6-8 billion dollars to Lebanon’s treasury annually!”
He asks, “Instead of asking France to give Lebanon money … Why doesn’t Lebanon work on administrative reforms?” adding: “Lebanon has 30 ministers while Russia has only 9! The number of ministers is incredible!”
He explained: “My recommendation today, which is the recommendation of the World Bank, is that I do not think that Lebanon has the right to request assistance.” He considers that: “Without a haircut, Lebanon’s debt will remain held by the great grandchildren of the Lebanese population today, and this is if even if the Lebanese economy can grow by 10 percent annually until then! And that is impossible.”
He points out that: “The international community has dealt with Lebanon as if Lebanon is suffering from alcoholism and promises everyone that it will become sober tomorrow.” He concluded by saying that “there is no scientific evidence indicating any change in the existence of this political structure is about to occur.”
Finally, he concluded that: “The solution is to implement the policies recommended to Nigeria or Yugoslavia, which could possibly the situation.”