We are in 2022, this is true. No one should be surprised however, this is Lebanon.
With these words, we summarize the citizen’s successive shocks from successive decisions of his government, which is absent when granting citizen rights, but is present at every opportunity to take rights from this citizen.
What the citizen feared a few months ago concerning the high living cost, turned six days ago into a bitter reality.
Increasing tariffs on telecommunications and the Internet to limit the collapse of the sector as was said, the first of July was translated as the solution at the expense of the Lebanese.
High fuel prices prisoned the Lebanese in their own homeland, and the high exchange rate of the dollar in parallel with the low income made him not engage in recreational activities.
Today the information and technology sectors’ claim is no different from the citizen, this sector that mainly depends on the Internet to work to keep pace with updates. In ItMagazineM.E, we communicated with the head of the Informatics and Technology Syndicate, George Al-Khoueiry, who pointed out to the seriousness of the decision taken, which does not affect a group of people, but affects everyone without exception. The Syndicate launched a claim a long time ago and put its experiences before the relevant authorities, but no one took action. “The meetings we held with these parties brought us the problems of the sector and the dangers of high tariffs” Khoueiry states. Khoueiry also emphasizes that the union bears the concerns of the sector and its fear of unfair decisions against it that lead its graduates to emigrate, “Hence our concern as an information and technology union to combat brain drain.
But alone, we will not be able to fight these conditions”.
“What we needed today are concerted efforts and the union to fight the crisis” Khoueiry confirms.
The head of the Informatics Syndicate says “Today, after the imaginary prices that we witnessed, we ask the two questions, the first about the legality of such a decision! The exchange rate of the dollar is unstable and therefore the exchange rate on the exchange platform is also unstable, which makes the telecommunications and internet bills vary according to the exchange rate. In the past, bills were stable after the dollar was 1500 pounds”.
“Today, if the dollar reaches 50,000 thousand, how will the citizen bear this burden?” Khoueiry asks.
“The second issue is about the fate of the funds collected from the beneficiaries and buyers of the network in the past. The profits were enough to develop the network on the one hand and support the telecommunications sector; it was assumed that a certain percentage of the cost would be deducted before the crisis, especially for reinvestment and development of this sector” Khoueiry continues. In his speech, Khoueiry emphasizes the extent of credibility that will be adopted by the concerned authorities in the correct disposal of the money that the sector will earn today. Before the year 2019, i.e. before the revolution, the profits of the telecommunications sector were not allocated part of it for effective maintenance of the network, so what is the guarantee today for the proper use of the money earned in the right place? Khoueiry also points out that there were many promises that linked the increase in tariffs to improving quality, “But what the citizen noticed is that with the increase in tariffs, the speed of the Internet decreased, reaching times when it was no longer available. What prompts us to renew the claim, but this time to demand the Internet so that we can complete the work”. “The sector today needs high quality in order to continue, despite the promises of increasing quality and its effectiveness; we still rely on many Internet accounts to complete the work due to the weakness of the network. The problem is in the bills of these accounts, which will negatively affect the sector, which prompts us to sound the alarm” Khoueiry indicates. “We do not want the sector’s graduates to become unemployed, forcing them to emigrate. Today what I can say is that we are facing a great danger” Khoueiry concludes.