NNA - Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil held a press conference at the ministry, in which he tackled at length the financial situation and precisely the issue of public sector employees' salaries, and said that "the financial situation is stable and the Treasury condition is good and there are no problems in securing liquidity to pay salaries or meet the obligations of the Lebanese State." He pointed out that "the responsibility of MPs is to come to the Parliament and legislate issues that concern the people, and that emanating from their compliance with the law and the Constitution." The Minister explained that "the problem has nothing to do with politics nor was it aimed at pushing anyone to fulfill his duties," noting that "the State does not default on any obligation or entitlement and we do not need the interference of any institution." "I will fight and do my best to ensure the payment of salaries," he pledged, noting that Treasury advances are illegal. "I never agreed on advances and I never will. I am in favor of settling the issues of the past and bearing the responsibility of all the spending." "Let the others bear the responsibility of this error which started in 2005 and which I am not willing to go on with. This is no accusation to anyone, nor is it an attempt to open anyone's dossier. It is the duty of the Ministry of Finance to work on addressing this dossier," Khalil said. "I appeal to the Cabinet to keep away all the political differences and respond to the call for the adoption of laws related to finance, and I appeal to the Deputies to go to the Parliament immediately for the approval of a license for the government to issue treasury bonds," Khalil went on. Tackling the issue of electricity, the Minister said "unfortunately, I heard a statement that throws the responsibility of failing to secure funds on the Ministry of Finance, but it is not allowed on anyone to throw his failure on another Ministry." He stressed in this regard that "the Ministry of Finance approved the project proposal submitted by the Minister of Energy on covering the purchase of fuel," noting that "half of the budget deficit is caused by the EDL and the project to cover the purchase of fuel." "There are consultations with parliamentary blocs and I will call a meeting of the Commission to discuss means to solve this matter," Khalil finally said, pointing that once the salary scale is approved with imports, then the country's financial deficit would diminish. =============D.K.