Jreissati Warns Generator Providers against 'Rebelling against State'
Caretaker Justice Minister Salim Jreissati on Wednesday issued a stern warning to neighborhood power generator providers, telling them that authorities would “confiscate” their generators should they stage another cut-off protest.
“We will confront the attempts to bend the state’s arm through the force of the law,” said Jreissati at a joint press conference with caretaker Economy Minister Raed Khoury.
“What happened yesterday was a rebellion against the state’s authority and an encroachment on the rights of citizens,” Jreissati added.
“There is a mafia controlling this sector and I call on municipalities to fine the violators,” the minister went on to say.
Providers had switched off their generators for two hours on Tuesday, plunging most Lebanese regions into darkness, to protest perceived maltreatment at the hands of authorities and security forces.
Authorities have been trying to implement a decree obliging providers to install meters for their subscribers amid an uproar over new tariffs and alleged technical difficulties.
“There is an attempt to undermine the state’s image and this will not happen during this presidential tenure. The state is stronger than everyone,” Jreissati added.
“We will escalate our measures under the applicable laws against generator owners who have not complied,” he warned.
“The measures could reach the extent of confiscating the generators,” he cautioned.
Jreissati also noted that the judiciary had already launched proceedings against providers who took part in Tuesday’s cut-off.