Lahoud also discussed the economy, saying that the situation was improving and that international confidence was growing – a positive prognosis corroborated by a World Bank report released on 6 January (MEED 9:1:03). Attempting to rise above recent domestic political disputes over Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri’s 2003 budget and the suspension of satellite broadcasting service NTV, he cautioned against letting ‘small matters and marginal details’ get in the way of the interest of the nation as a whole. The relationship between Lahoud and Hariri has been tense since the Prime Minister’s 1 January decision to cut the international connection of NTV for insisting on broadcasting a programme on Saudi-US relations, while Hariri is still battling to get through his budget in the face of parliamentary opposition to new taxes.