The Capital Control bill was dropped due to pressure and the confrontational action undertaken by the Depositors’ Union in unison with partner groups, other progressive forces and unions. Collectively, we laid bare the many loopholes and disadvantages of the law and succeeded in spreading public awareness that ultimately moved public opinion to confront its approval.
Like secret societies that plot and scheme covertly behind closed doors fearful that their inner workings may see daylight, the parliamentary blocks rejected the law once it was exposed. Deputies gallantly lined up as heroes to reject the law and emphasise the preservation of depositors’ rights.
The same usual suspects who failed miserably since the beginning of the crisis to do their duty and introduce minimum legislation to halt the oppression of the Central Bank of Lebanon, its various decrees issued and the nefarious influence of the banks.
Although the proposed legislation was kicked out, the Depositors’ Union continues the combat and we wish to state the following:
First: we are not against a Capital Control law per se. On the contrary, we were the first to call for its approval in order to stem the financial bleeding. For us, a Capital Control law appropriate to protecting depositors’ money is a law that integrates a comprehensive, fair and transparent financial rescue plan. This plan will protect depositors’ rights and will ensure that banks bear the cost of the collapse. It will entirely free up small and medium deposits and recover the money illegally smuggled out after 2019.
Second: The politico-banking cartel will not balk at passing distorted laws that serve only its interests under various pretexts, the most important of which is meeting the conditions of the IMF.
Third: the Depositors’ Union stresses that it is vital that depositors be represented in parliament by their participation in the discussion of draft laws. This is necessary to neutralize the impact of any conflict of interest since most of the deputies on committees favor the banks and will work to absolve them from any responsibility for the crisis and subsequent losses.
Legislative mirages are no longer acceptable. The question is clear. Either the parliament works for the benefit and interest of the people or it is a parliament representing banks and a place to cover the heist of the century and whitewash the perpetrators.
The Depositors’ Union cancels its movement planned for tomorrow in light of the parliament decision.
Nevertheless, we will continue the fight until all deposits are liberated and losses are fairly distributed. We will continue to hold banks responsible for the collapse and its costs and spare depositors and society in general additional burdens.