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Bassil after bloc meeting: We will submit draft law to restore looted money

"The 2020 budget is the goal that we must work on," said Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil after the Strong Lebanon parliamentary bloc meeting.

"The McKinsey plan must also be approved, along with the electricity tenders, the waste management plan, and a set of bills we discussed earlier. We are working to develop our economic paper in matters that have not been approved in the present budget," he said. "The Lebanese are waiting for a reform budget in 2010," he added in this context.

"The bloc will submit to the parliament a draft law to restore looted money from the State," Bassil said, deeming it a major challenge. "The Lebanese are anticipating a reform budget in 2020, and if we fail to deliver, there will be big question marks around the matter."

On the labor law, Bassil stressed that "the bloc favors the strict implementation of the labor law with the main aim of providing employment opportunities for the Lebanese, in light of the record rates of unemployment. It is our duty to protect the labor market. This issue affects all foreigners and not a certain category. (...) Anything that contributes to the normalization of the Syrian and Palestinian presence in Lebanon is a form of naturalization."

The minister stressed that preserving "humane rights lies in working to secure [refugees'] return to their homelands, especially now, with the deal of the century which proved to have as pillar the abolition of the right of return."

Source: National News Agency

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