Mikati, Hariri Deny STL Discussion, EU Stresses Its Funding
Lebanese demands rosary doesn't end.
After decades of neglect, financial and administrative corruption, the Lebanese government found itself facing a great number of endless living urgent files.
However, the Mikati government succeeded to the moment in dismantling many of the explosive bombs, not the latest to be is the file of full-time teachers at the Lebanese University.
Gov't's Decision Ends LU Strike
Thursday governmental session approved a draft law proposed by Education Minister Hassan Diab aimed at adjusting the salary scales of teachers at the Lebanese University.
As Information Minister Walid Daouk announced the news, president of LU Professors' league Charbel Kfoury informed "an-Nahar" Lebanese newspaper Friday that "in principle, we should be able to congratulate the Lebanese University and its professors on the achievement."
Expecting that the LU League holds a meeting later Friday to address the government's decision to call off the Lebanese University strike, dailies reported that LU is to announce the beginning of the academic year, which should start on Monday.
"As-Safir" daily reported that "the agreement includes raising professors' salaries to LL3.7 million" adding that the "League will visit House Speaker Nabih Berri who contributed greatly in ending the dispute over the university."
SC Rejects Wages, Committee Formed
At another level, wage increase issue goes back to square one as State Council rejected Thursday the draft law proposed by the government to correct wages
The council said the decision was in violation of a number of labor laws, arguing that "all employees who earned over LL1.8 million were unjustifiably exempted from the wage increase."
"The proposal violates article six of the 1967 law which stipulates that the wage increase should be based on the inflation rate," the council said in a statement."
Responding to the Council's statement, the government decided to reassess a wage increase deal reached earlier this month with labor unions.
Government decided to form a committee, headed by PM Najib Mikati, to address the State Council's reservations on the government's draft plan to increase minimum wage.
The committee includes Mikati and Ministers Mohammed Safadi, Nicolas Nahhas, and Charbel Nahhas.
Minister al-Daouq said after the session that "we will consider the council's position because we are keen on reaching an agreement that respects the laws and meets the employees' demands."
"The government accepts the State Council's decision and it will do all it can to reach a framework that can achieve justice," he added.
For his part, head of the General Labor Union Ghassan Ghosn stressed to "as-Safir" that "if PM Mikati respects the State Council's stance, then the wage hike should encompass employees who earn more than 1,800,000 LL."
"The ball is once again in the government's court and it is responsible for rectifying its mistakes based on the State Council's decision," Ghosn noted.
"Should it decide to back down from the wage hike, then we will resume our strikes," he warned.
STL Rumors, Pressures
In parallel, PM Mikati denied rumors that he had contacted any of the opposition figures including former PM Saad Hariri to inquire about the decisions he takes.
Sources close to Mikati emphasized to "an-Nahar" that "the constant approach concerning all matters is to stay away from any political dispute in order to achieve the Lebanese citizens' interests."
"Mikati's stances are clear and announced, they don't need to be leaked or mediated," sources stressed
"He's counting on the awareness of all the Lebanese parties to safeguard the Lebanese higher interest, to preserve stability, and protect Lebanon from any danger," they added.
For his part, ex-PM Hariri also denied discussing with Mikati in Riyadh the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
In the same context, the Western pressure continues on Lebanon regarding STL.
EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy, Stefan Fule held a series of talks with senior Lebanese officials.
He said that he was confident Lebanon would come up with the more than 30 million$ it owes the U.N.-backed court in 2011.
"Lebanon must provide a safe environment for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to carry out its mandate, and ensure the protection of its citizens as well as foreigners and refugees," Fule added.
Source: Lebanese newspapers, Translated and Edited by moqawama.org