Reuters: France is considering imposing European sanctions on Lebanese politicians

France and die European Union are preparing proposals die can lead to assets being frozen and travel bans imposed on Lebanese politicians to urge them to agree on a government to save their country from economic collapse.

The port explosion in Beirut, die entire districts in August in the Lebanese capital, led to the resignation of the Hassan Diab-led government, and no government was formed, die this should replace.

France led efforts to help Lebanon but failed to die urging many parties to come to an agreement on a government, let alone initiate reforms, die the flow of foreign aid in could enable the country that is on the brink of bankruptcy.

Because many senior Lebanese politicians houses, bank accounts and investments in of the European Union and sending their children to study at European universities, the withdrawal of these privileges could be a means of pressure.

“Against the same people die have given up the common good for personal reasons, concrete proposals are being drawn up, “French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told the legislature on Tuesday.

He went on and said, “If die If politicians fail to meet their responsibilities, we will not hesitate to take our responsibility. “

Two diplomats told Reuters that Le Drian’s team is investigating how die The European Union can prepare sanctions, die Include travel bans and asset freezes.

A senior EU diplomat in Brussels said the minister had also asked EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell to work on drafting an option paper during a meeting of EU foreign ministers on March 22nd.

The diplomat told Reuters: “The French are trying to die Europeans in die Include Lebanese question. They cannot achieve this on their own, or at least their individual efforts have so far not been successful. “

He added: “The sanctions were not discussed directly, but when they did die Sanctions would be a way of changing the approach if they could not be ruled out. Lebanon needs an effective government. “

The idea finds support in Lebanon itself, wherever die Citizens’ anger in the face of collapse in living standards is increasing while die Leaders fight.

Former culture minister Ghassan Salameh said after participating in the signing of a column with 100 Lebanese civil society figures in the French newspaper “Le Monde” had participated, in who called on France to freeze assets: “The European Union sanctions will have practical and dangerous weight for Lebanese politicians because they are many in Europe. “

However, diplomats said Paris remained concerned and had not yet set any goals. The diplomats also said that die Introducing such a system for some time in Could claim.

A third diplomat told Reuters: “The sanctions should in in reference to die Target audience be consistent if they want to make a difference, and die Consider reality in Lebanon. “

The United States has already imposed sanctions on three prominent politicians die are allied with the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia, die has a significant influence in Lebanon.

Two diplomats said die European Union will also decide whether and how to oppose die Hezbollah should take precedence.

A senior Lebanese political source told Reuters: “The French have the officials here die Message over die Possibility of imposing sanctions conveyed … but they are still lacking in strength. “

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