A prominent minister in Lebanon’s new government, formed in December 2009
Position: Energy & Water Minister
Biography: Gebran Bassil is a close aide to Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) leader Michel Aoun and having Bassil at the head of the Energy & Water Ministry represents another success for the March 8 movement in its battle for political influence.
A Maronite, Bassil was instrumental in negotiating the memorandum of understanding that the FPM signed with Hezbollah in February 2006, which included a roadmap for the disarmament of Hezbollah, and he will need to display similar political skills as he heads up the ministry.
A key challenge facing the new government will be the massive debts owed by state utility Electricite du Liban (EdL), largely as a result of non-payment by residential consumers.
In 2009, the Finance Ministry was forced to bail out EdL with a $1.5bn payout. Sorting out the debt at EdL is a top priority for Bassil, but other incumbents have failed to improve matters in the past.
Contact: (+961) 1 56510
A MEED Subscription...
Subscribe or upgrade your current MEED.com package to support your strategic planning with the MENA region’s best source of business information. Proceed to our online shop below to find out more about the features in each package.