Lebanon warns of ‘deep crisis’ without IMF reforms

Lebanon warns of ‘deep crisis’ without IMF reforms

Lebanon has been facing crippling economic crisis since 2019

By Wassim Saif Al-Din

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AA) – Lebanon warned Tuesday of a “deep crisis” in the absence of economic reforms demanded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In a statement, Deputy Prime Minister Saadeh al-Shami said Lebanon reached an agreement with the IMF a year ago, but only a few of the agreed-upon procedures were accomplished.

The IMF agreed with Lebanon on a package of economic, tax and monetary reforms, in an attempt to cruise the country out of the current financial crisis, including lifting subsidies, a flexible exchange rate and tax reforms.

Al-Shami said the failure to implement these reforms "undermines Lebanon's credibility and increases the IMF's hardening of its positions and its refusal to accept new proposals."

Lebanon needs to restore the confidence of the international community, the deputy premier said.

“Flexibility on the part of others requires credibility on our part,” he added.

On Thursday, head of the IMF’s mission to Lebanon, Ernesto Rigo, said the country is "in a very dangerous situation" amid escalating banking, economic and political crises.

At the end of January 2022, the Lebanese government officially began negotiations with the IMF on a program for economic recovery in the country.

Since 2019, Lebanon has been facing a crippling economic crisis that, according to the World Bank, is one of the worst the world has seen in modern times.

* Ikram Kouachi contributed to this report

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