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SANCTIONS

EU lawmakers call for Lebanon sanctions if new government fails

European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels. (Credit: Yves Herman/Reuters)

BRUSSELS — The European Union should still consider imposing sanctions on Lebanese politicians who block the progress of the new government, the EU’s Parliament said on Thursday, calling Lebanon’s crisis a man-made disaster.

This week, the EU’s foreign policy lead, Josep Borrell, told the European Parliament that, while Lebanon’s economic model was broken, the moment for sanctions had passed because politicians formed a government on Sept. 10.

Taking note of Lebanon’s government formation after more than a year of political deadlock, the European Parliament in Strasbourg issued a resolution saying EU governments cannot yet release pressure on the country.

The parliament voted 575 in favor, 71 against and with 39 abstentions.

The parliament “deeply urges Lebanese leaders to keep their promises and be a functional government,” the parliament’s resolution, which is nonbinding, said of Lebanon’s new government, which has vowed to tackle one of the world’s worst economic meltdowns in history.

EU lawmakers warned: “The introduction of targeted sanctions for obstructing or undermining the democratic political process remains an option.”

The EU agreed in June to prepare travel bans and asset freezes for Lebanese politicians accused of corruption and obstructing efforts to form a government, financial mismanagement and human rights abuses.

No names have been formally identified, but with financial collapse, hyperinflation, electricity blackouts and food shortages blighting the country, the parliament seems to hope its call will focus the minds of Lebanese politicians, many of whom have assets in the EU. 



BRUSSELS — The European Union should
still consider imposing sanctions on Lebanese politicians who
block the progress of the new government, the EU’s Parliament
said on Thursday, calling Lebanon’s crisis a man-made disaster.
This week, the EU’s foreign policy lead, Josep Borrell, told the
European Parliament that, while Lebanon’s economic model...