International Monetary Fund (IMF) experts will begin consultations with the Lebanese government today to help address the country’s major financial
International Monetary Fund (IMF) experts will begin consultations with the Lebanese government today to help address the country’s major financial crisis.
In the past year, Lebanon’s economic instability has inspired protests against the elite and the government as workers have been fired and wages cut due to the downturn. Banks have also drawn ire for withholding cash withdrawals from their customers.
The country faces a $1.2 billion Eurobond payment, due in March 2020, and is rushing to restructure its economy to reduce public debt and repay the bond in time. The government has not yet asked for direct financial assistance, and details of the talk are unknown. The IMF may recommend raising the value-added tax rate, broadening the tax base and increasing fuel excises while removing electricity subsidies to bolster fiscal savings. Earlier protests against the government have gradually lost steam over the past four months as they failed to articulate long term goals, and any successful reforms will only further fracture the protest movement.
Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.