Without reform, Lebanon may enter an ‘endless crisis’ – Middle East Monitor
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned on Thursday that Lebanon is going through a “very dangerous” phase amid a deepening economic crisis, warning that failure to implement urgent reforms would plunge the country into ” an endless crisis”.
Ernesto Ramirez Rigo, head of the IMF mission visiting Lebanon, said at a news conference, Thursday, that continued inaction by Lebanese leaders would leave the nation in an “endless crisis” where it could go into hyperinflation, “which affects for the quality of life of many Lebanese in the coming years”.
In April, the IMF announced that a preliminary agreement would be reached with Lebanon on a bailout package of $3 billion over four years. However, he tied the bailout package to the government’s commitment to implementing early reforms, and to Parliament’s approval of urgent draft laws, particularly the “Capital Control” law that restricts withdrawals and currency transfers. foreign loans from banks, as well as the approval of member states. legislation relating to the restructuring of the banking sector and the amendment of the banking secrecy law.
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Regarding the implementation of the necessary reforms, Rigo pointed out that Lebanon has made progress, but “unfortunately the progress is very slow, given the complexity of the situation”. “One would expect more in terms of implementation,” he said.
On Tuesday, the Lebanese lira (pound) recorded a historic fall, with the exchange rate exceeding 140,000 against the US dollar.
Since last October, the Lebanese Parliament has failed 11 times to elect a president due to deep political divisions. Political paralysis exacerbates the crisis, and the caretaker government is unable to take the necessary decisions, including the reforms required by the international community and the IMF to provide support to stop the bleeding.
For her, the head of the caretaker government in Lebanon, Najib Mikati, said that “the situation requires a quick emergency operation to save the country”, stressing that the solution is to elect a president for the republic.
Speaking at a press conference after a meeting with the Speaker of Parliament, Nabih Berri, Mikati explained that the meeting of the Bureau of Parliament has been postponed to refer some laws to parliamentary committees for review, so that the next parliamentary session will be more productive in terms of to approve laws.
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