New Year Blues

By Ana

Many Lebanese who have returned to Lebanon for the holidays are making plans to leave earlier than expected. Most will be gone by the first week of January. Why? Because threats of closing down the road leading to the airport and engaging in disruptive acts that might trigger domestic violence, could lead to the airport shutting down. Better be safe and out of Lebanon before then. Such threats have been made by Suleiman Frangieh, who, for the past month or so, has been using increasingly vulgar and provocative language in news conferences and public statements. However, it appears that such language is not in line with what was negotiated between Hezbollah and the Zgharta politician. It seems that Nasrallah is losing his patience with Frangieh, whose constant provocative diction is making it increasingly difficult for the March 8 bloc to legitimize their cause(s).

In today’s Daily Star, mention was made to this disenchantment without pointing fingers: “Members of the opposition have threatened civil disobedience, such as refraining from paying taxes and bills, disobeying orders and attempts to block roads and shut down the airport and other facilities. There have been reports Berri and Hizbullah are unhappy with those making these threats.” These reports, however, appear to go beyond unhappiness to Frangieh and might also refer to General Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement and in particular, MP Ibrahim Kanaan.

Prime Minister Fouad Seniora was quoted by As-Safir, a March 8 newspaper, and specifically, pro-Hezbollah, of advising certain parties to not block the road to the airport. Although the article featured certain irregularities and breached the newspaper’s journalist confidence since the statement was made in a closed-doors arrangement, except for its incorrect headline, a press release issued by the Prime Minister’s office mentioned that the quotes in the article were in fact correct.

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