EU lawmakers call for sanctions on Lebanon if new government fails

The Lebanese national flag flies in Beirut, Lebanon on August 18, 2020. REUTERS / Hannah McKay

BRUSSELS, Sept. 16 (Reuters) – The European Union should still consider imposing sanctions on Lebanese politicians who block the progress of the new government, the European Parliament said on Thursday, calling the Lebanese crisis a man-made disaster.

This week, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told the European Parliament that as Lebanon’s economic model was shattered, the time for sanctions had passed because politicians formed a government on the 10th. September.

Taking note of the formation of a government in Lebanon after more than a year of political stalemate, the European Parliament in Strasbourg will issue a resolution saying EU governments cannot ease the pressure on the country yet.

The parliament “strongly urges the Lebanese leadership to keep their promises and to be a functioning government”, the parliament’s resolution, which is not binding, is expected to say of the new Lebanese government which has pledged to tackle the one of the world’s worst economic crises in history. .

EU lawmakers will also warn: “the introduction of targeted sanctions to hamper or undermine 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 violations.

No name has been officially identified, but with the financial collapse, hyperinflation, power outages and food shortages ravaging the country, parliament is hoping its appeal will grab the attention of Lebanese politicians, many of whom have assets in the EU.

Reporting by Robin Emmott; Editing by Alex Richardson

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