SINIORA, Fouad

Considered as a great supporter of economic liberalism, the Lebanese Fouad Siniora is well known for his economical and political abilities. On the 30th of June 2005, he is nominated Chief Government after having been Minister of finance during four years.

Fouad Siniora is married and has three children. He was born in 1943 in Sidon, a coastal city in the South of Beirut. He grew up in a Sunni Moslem family. He attended the American School for Boys in Sidon.

In 1970, he gained a Master of Business Administration at the American University of Beirut (AUB). Between 1972 and 1977, he worked both as a professor at the AUB and in the Citibank of Beirut.

Professionally, he particularly has a distinguished career in the banking activity. Between 1977 and 1982, he led the audit committee of the Central Bank of Lebanon until he became in 1982 the President of the « Bank Control Commission » of Lebanon. Close to the Hariri family, Fouad Siniora occupied important positions within banks and investment companies of the family. Currently, he is the chairman and managing director of Groupe Mediterranee. This group encompasses four banks owned by Hariri. Those banks are the Mediterranean Bank, the Saudi Lebanese Bank, the Allied Bank and the Swiss Mediterranean Bank. He is also a member of the Administration Council of the Arab Bank, one of the most influential Arabian Bank.

Between 1992 and 1998, Fouad Siniora was minister of state for financial affairs within the Government of Rafic Hariri. In 2000, he is appointed Finance Minister.

On November the 23rd 2002, a financial aid of three billions dollars was allocated by 23 States and International institutions. It was the result of the Conference « Paris 2 ». This amount must help Lebanon to balance the budget and to reduce the public debt burden. Fouad Siniora was one of the strong supporters of this agreement.

In 2005, after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, Siniora became the First Minister of Lebanon. On June 30th 2005, Lebanon President, Emile Lahoud, asked Fouad Siniora to form a new government. On 19 July, a government is formed and includes most of the political spectrum, except that of Michel Aoun.

A year later, Fouad Siniora faces new desctruction of Lebanon during the conflict between Hezbollah to Israel. Tensions within the government increase until the United States accused Syria and Iran of conspiracy to destabilize the government Siniora. Following these statements, the six « pro-Syrian » ministers from Hezbollah and the Amal Movement withdrew from the government, and since then criticize his legitimacy.

Since the end of the presidential term of Emile Lahoud, the Council of Ministers chaired by Fouad Siniora ensures the predidential function.