MONEY The Dirty Business in Beirut

Posted by on 21. Dezember 2015

Beirut

That's how the are rebuilding the Corniche ...

Beirut

… with the dirtiest money available!

I JUST CAME BACK FROM THE LEBANESE CAPITAL, amazed by the different aspects of Beirut. Parts of the city are still cordoned off because the terrorists of Hisbollah, the Lebanese armed forces or ruthless businessmen, speculating with the pockmarked but potentially precious ruins of the wars, have occupied them. And then you drive along the Corniche, the once posh avenue along the coast of the Mediterranean, and you get the feeling of the Atlantica in Rio, the namesake in Nice or Cannes, reappearing. Skyscraper after skyscraper, errected in bold designs like in Dubai or Shanghai, reach for the sky … – and you are informed that the smallest apartment will cost you at least US$ 1 000 000, the bigger ones and those an top, the penthouses, between 3 and 10 millions. Wow! What a trust in the uncertain future of Beirut! Where does this money (billions, maybe …) come from? Naturally, you would be inclined to follow the money back to the oil-rich neighboring countries, to Saudi, Kuwaiti, Abu Dhabi or Qatari princes, businessmen or politicians. They are involved, of course, but not the main financiers, recently. The people who know (and are often involved as mediators with very open pockets) in the Lebanon tell you in a whisper. The new dollars, pouring into the Corniche, come from even more morbid sources, here land the illegal dollars from the illegal trade with the so called „Blood Diamonds“ from Africa. Here in Beirut the ruthless, shameless potentates who rule between The Gambia in the Northwest and Mocambique in the Southeast invest their illegally acquired fortunes, from the stones they stole from their country, and from what they got as world record holders in corruption. Interesting. And nobody will asked how this could happen, and with whose money, if Beirut became one of the most attractive cities in the world again …

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