Lebanon needs to form a government in order to implement projects proposed by Italy, an Italian MP said Thursday, calling on “everyone to make concessions to save the country,” the state-run National News Agency reported.
During a visit to Lebanon, Salvatore Capone said, “Several international associations would like to lend a helping hand to [our] friend [Lebanon] after a government is formed.”
The NNA report did not specify which projects to which Capone was referring. However, Italy was among a number of countries and international organizations that pledged a total of over $11 billion in soft loans to Lebanon at the CEDRE conference held in Paris in April, to be used for economic and infrastructure reform projects. The reforms remain on hold until the new government is formed. Italy had reportedly pledged 120 million euros ($147 million) from two credit lines at the conference.
Capone was quoted as saying that “Italy has always supported Lebanon. We looked at the living conditions and they are pretty difficult compared to the previous years – it’s worse.”
Capone’s remarks were made during a visit to the town of Kfar Matta in Aley, to mark 30 years of “Twinning” between the Italian town of Martignano and Kfar Matta. Twinning is a European Union project that encourages institutional cooperation between EU member states and “beneficiary or partner” countries, which include Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and others, according to the EU.
The Italian MP was leading a delegation of the Lebanese-Italian Friendship Association, which examined issues related to electricity, medicines and the economy in Lebanon.
The Daily Star