Thursday, January 25, 2007

Ad firm fined after demanding riot compensation

Ad firm fined after demanding riot compensation
Daily Star staff
Friday, January 19, 2007

BEIRUT: The Finance Ministry slapped LL700 billion ($466,000) in fines on a leading advertising group for allegedly refusing to submit documents and records to the ministry. This action stunned the chairman of THG Company, which groups seven PR and advertising firms, especially since the company suffered millions of dollars in material losses after rioters burned down the building housing the THG headquarters in Tabaris late last year. "This is insane. Instead of compensating me for all the damages our company suffered as a result of the fire they slap this huge fine," THG group chairman Talal Makdisi told The Daily Star in a telephone interview Thursday. He added that all his documents and papers which his company accumulated over the past 22 years turned into ashes as a result of the fire which consumed all the building. "I want to thank the state for its extra attention to those who incurred losses in the riots last year. This is their method of compensating people," Makdisi said sarcastically.

Makdisi raised the issue of the fines with Finance Minister Jihad Azour and other officials."Azour told me he sympathizes but cannot do anything about this problem," he added. He said this action by the ministry demonstrates that the government and politicians are not concerned in serving the citizens in a just and fair way.

"Our company has an impeccable record because all employees are registered in the social funds and we pay taxes on time." Makdisi filed a law suit against the state with the Shura Council for its failure to pay the full compensation to his firm after the fire. "I have faith in the justice system and hope to get a verdict soon." - The Daily Star

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