Safadi Says Funding Crisis Became ‘Heavy Burden’ on March 8

Posted on: April 30, 2012 at 00:17
Finance Minister Mohammed Safadi warned on Monday that the extra-budgetary spending has become a “heavy burden” on the ruling March 8 majority.

“Each spending made currently is illegal,” he said in reference to the law, which says that the government can’t allocate funds that exceed the last state budget of 2005.

Cabinet members are at loggerheads over a $5.9 billion spending bill that would legalize the allocation of funds made by Premier Najib Miqati’s cabinet.

While the Free Patriotic Movement, Amal and Hizbullah have pressured President Michel Suleiman to sign the bill into law over parliament’s failure to adopt it, ministers loyal to Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat have defended the head of state in his decision not to.

Suleiman claims that the bill includes violations that should be amended by taking into consideration the remarks made by the parliamentary finance and budget committee.

The failure to approve the bill has threatened to withhold the salaries of Lebanese civil servants although Safadi gave assurances that the employees would receive their wages.
Channel News Asia: Australian police crack global money-laundering ring

Australian police revealed Thursday they had cracked a major global money-laundering ring with operatives in more than 20 countries and funds syphoned off to groups reported to include Hezbollah.

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