Lebanon’s Cabinet Meeting Aimed To Restore Ebbing IMF Trust, Here’s What We Know

Middle East Monitor

With two pessimistic preparatory statements from PM Mikati and Minister Fayyad pointing out the brittle situation in Lebanon, a meeting of the cabinet took place this Thursday at the Grand Serail.

The Lebanese Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, has released a concise statement before the meeting of the cabinet in which he painted yet another picture of the trembling hand of a paralyzed government stained with partisan and sectarian smudges.

The second-time Prime Minister said that “there has been interlacing between the Capital Control project and the guaranteeing of bank deposits, which is wrong.”

He stressed that “Capital Control should have been implemented since the first day of the crisis, and if we are to propose a recovery plan for the economy, we have to make sure that capital stays inside the country.”

“The demands of the IMF include budget release, capital control, banking discretion, and restructuring of banks. Things will never be on the right track without implementing these amendments,” he added.

The Cabinet wasn’t able to reach unanimity and the bills were transferred to the Parliament for further study, while ministers took the case to their parties to dissect the bill for any inconvenience.

One pseudo-positive caress from Mikati was on the subject of expatriates and diaspora voting: “All preparations are taking place and the minister of foreign affairs is following the subject diligently.”

Dalati & Nohra

Another bleak statement was given by the minister of energy, Walid Fayyad, who reported that negotiations with the World Bank were not yielding the desired fruiting at the avowed pace.

“The World Bank did not reject the financing of gas and electricity, but there is a delay in giving financial approval,” Fayyad said.

He later explained that the deal with Jordan is well concluded but that the Lebanese parliament is now delaying the approval for financing.

Fayyad also added that the “ball is in their court”, referring to the US and French ambassadors who are responsible for engaging Lebanon with the World Bank.

A meeting with the World Bank delegation took place on Friday, April 15th. According to Fayyad. it “did not yield the expected positive results”.

The World Bank’s side said that they will be studying the political feasibility of the project, while Fayyad commented that he “didn’t even know what feasibility means”.

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