Lebanon's Prime Minister rejects idea of IMF-backed aid

Bloomberg/Sima Diab

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The budget sets a deficit target of 7.6 per cent of gross domestic product for 2019, something the government needs to achieve to unlock billions of dollars in international aid and revive its ailing economy.

Wednesday 12, June 2019

(Bloomberg) --Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri has rejected suggestions that his debt-laden country should seek a bail-out from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as frustration mounts over months of political bickering that have stalled efforts to cut spending and unlock billions of dollars in aid.

Saad Hariri, said, "You have some who say that maybe we should now get into an IMF road map, thinking that the IMF will come and throw in some 30 billion, Lebanon’s share in the IMF is this very small."

Additionally, the premier criticised constant political bickering that has delayed efforts to pass an austerity budget for 2019. The draft budget was approved by the government after exhaustive discussions and is now being debated in parliament, where plans to freeze public sector recruitment and other such measures will prove unpopular.

Lebanon’s economic situation is dire and international investors and donors would not wait forever for the country to prove it is serious about reform, said Hariri.

TAGS : Prime Minister Saad Hariri, IMF, 2019 budget, international aid

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