"No more bread and games," writes Sami Halabi for L'Orient Today

As Lebanon’s subsidy regime crumbles, patchwork social protection policies will not appease the hungry masses, argues Triangle Director Sami Halabi in an Op-Ed for L’Orient Today.

Since roman times, the tried and tested tools used by the ruling classes order to appease the poorest has always been panem et circenses, or bread and circuses. And for the past three decades, Lebanon’s political circus has kept many a politician, pundit and plebian much amused with a mix of spectacle, sectarian posturing and, every now and then, a gladiator match played out in the streets of the country. Amidst the political pageantry, the circus acts have always changed but one thing remined consistent: there was always enough bread to go around, until now.