Posted by Joshua on Wednesday, June 18th, 2008
Olmert: Israel isn't far from direct talks with Syria: IHT "We aren't far away," Olmert was quoted as saying. "If the two parties are serious, we should soon sit down at a table for talks."
"If there's an Israeli embassy in Damascus, things will change," he was quoted as saying. "It will also make a difference in Lebanon. If we negotiate with Syria, why not with Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora?"
From Le Figaro, here"…Peu importe si, pour l'instant, les Syriens disent qu'ils ne se sépareront pas de l'Iran. S'ils font la paix avec Israël, cela modifiera la réalité dans la région. La Syrie doit cesser d'être un centre pour la terreur et d'abriter les quartiers généraux du Hamas et du Djihad islamique. S'il y a une ambassade israélienne à Damas, les choses changeront. Cela fera aussi une différence pour le Liban. Si on négocie avec la Syrie, pourquoi pas avec le premier ministre libanais, Fouad Siniora ?"
Lebanon: Crisis of Power
June 18, 2008
Oxford Business Group
Regions outside of Beirut are experiencing power cuts of up to 20 hours a day, affecting both the public and industry. ….
According to state electricity monopoly Electricite du Liban (EDL) its production capacity is 1600 MW. This rate often falls due to technical failures or scheduled maintenance of plants. Even at optimum production, daily demand is more than 2100 MW.
Fadi Abboud, the president of Lebanon's Industrial Association, has warned that the country risks losing part of its industrial base, with a number of manufacturers having shifted their operations to countries such as Kuwait.
"The authorities and EDL provide Beirut with electricity 21 hours a day while the rest of the country gets less than four hours of power," Abboud reported to local media on June 11, adding, "We simply cannot continue." ……
Lebanon's gross public debt as of the end of April rose to $43.2bn, up 3.6% over the total at the close of last year, and a 5.5% increase on the April 2007 figure. With the government having to subsidise EDL's operations to the tune of almost $1bn last year, and probably more this year, the electricity monopoly is one of the main contributors to Lebanon's growing deficit.
Succession at House of Saud: The Men Who Would Be King By: Anne Penketh | The Independent
King Abdullah created a council to choose his successor and avoid a bloody feud. But will the Saudi princes allow it to?
Financial Times Saudi Arabia should ditch its dollar peg The inflation problem in the Gulf region, which is hitting low-income workers, is exacerbated by the fixed exchange rate policy, writes Martin Feldstein