Even if most of our ministers are incompetent, they always tend to sympathize with the people and lie to them to make them believe they’re doing things for their own good. They never cease to amaze us with the excuses they come up with their actions and pretend it’s for our own good but our current Tourism Minister doesn’t work that way.

After setting the valet parking price to LL5,000 and waging a war against the valet companies, he changed his mind a week later and decided to give them a huge favor by allowing valet people to overcharge us inside Beirut because they’re operating at a high cost.

To make things worse, he went on TV with Al-Jadeed to justify what he did and claimed that “people who want to party or dine in Beirut should know in advance it’s more expensive than anywhere else in Lebanon”. He also went on to say that he set the price at LL10,000 because no one was paying 5,000 in Beirut anyway. To be fair, he did not say what AL Jadeed is accusing him of saying “من يتناول الطعام في بيروت لن يغص بعشرة آلاف ليرة” even though it felt like he meant it indirectly.

To be honest, I have no idea what’s going on in his head but he just legitimized the work of the valet mafias in Beirut and showed that he’s clueless about the cost of dining out or partying in Beirut, and by Beirut I’m not talking about the downtown area but all of Beirut from Forum de Beyrouth till Jnah. We had the choice of giving the valet whatever the hell we want but instead now we’re forced to give him LL10,000 and I’m sure some of them will start charging even more.

That’s why, and as I’ve stated on several occasions, we need to stop using the valet once and for all and report them whenever they park on the sidewalks or book all the park meter spots. What the Tourism Minister needed to do was organize this whole valet mess and restrict the service to specific places only. Instead, he legalized their work and authorized them to overcharge us.