Lebanon is experiencing "a very dangerous moment". This was indicated Thursday, March 23, an official of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), while the economic crisis in the country of the Cedar worsens day by day. At the same time, the same official deplored the slow pace of implementation of reforms by politicians.

"We believe that Lebanon is at a very dangerous time, at a crossroads," Ernesto Ramirez Rigo told a news conference at the end of a mission to Beirut. "The process of implementation" of the necessary reforms "has been very slow," the official added, warning that "the policy of inaction will leave Lebanon plunged into an endless crisis."

The IMF announced in April 2022 an agreement in principle with Beirut for three billion dollars in aid, spread over four years but conditional on the implementation of reforms, including an evolution of the law on bank secrecy or a restructuring of the banking sector as well as a law on capital controls.

This is not the first time that the IMF has denounced the Lebanese authorities' slowness in implementing these reforms. "Time is running out, it's been almost a year since we reached an agreement," the IMF official lamented. "The Lebanese have made progress, but unfortunately this progress is very slow."

The currency loses 98% of its value against the dollar

Since 2019, Lebanon has been plunged into a deep economic crisis blamed by a large part of the population on the mismanagement, corruption, negligence and inertia of a ruling class that has been in power for decades.

The local currency has lost more than 98% of its value against the dollar on the parallel market, while draconian banking restrictions prevent savers from having free access to their money.

On Wednesday, hundreds of Lebanese, including a large number of retired soldiers, demonstrated in Beirut against deteriorating living conditions and the dizzying collapse of the national currency, before being dispersed with tear gas by the police.

With AFP

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