BEIRUT — The municipality of Fnaidek, a village in Akkar, announced Wednesday it will suspend its operations and close its doors starting Oct.1 until further notice, due to a lack of funds.
The municipality stated that its closure means the suspension of its activities, including waste collection, and expressed regret for the "absence of the state." The Lebanese government has not given municipalities their due since 2021 and the amount owed is still calculated at the LL 1,500 rate despite the currency's devaluation, which has set the lira at LL 89,000 to the dollar on the parallel market. Fnaidek's municipal council also lamented that 95 percent of residents have not paid municipal taxes this year, let alone previous years, despite the tax amounting to only one dollar per household per month. The statement further highlights the municipality's inability to pay the salaries of its employees and volunteers.
Lebanese municipalities have been facing numerous challenges since the onset of the financial collapse in 2019. Last April, Parliament voted to extend the mandates of existing municipal councils and mukhtars for a maximum duration of one year. The election, which had already been postponed a year, was initially scheduled for May 7. The mandate of municipal councils and mukhtars will expire no later than May 31, 2024.