Heavily circulating online news is saying that Riad Salameh, the governor of the Lebanese central bank Banque Du Liban has just fled Lebanon. The news recently took Lebanese social media users by storm and spread like wildfire, stirring up controversy regarding the whereabouts and intentions of Salameh.
Claim: Riad Salameh has fled Lebanon and is heading to the United States to announce his resignation from his position as the governor of the central bank of Lebanon.
Verdict: A source close to Riad Salameh told LBCI on Monday that the trending news regarding his escape is false. The source also confirmed that Salameh is currently in Lebanon, and has no intentions of leaving or resigning.
في خبرية الله اعلم اذا كانت صحيحة انه رياض سلامة بدو يعلن استقالته بهاليومين من الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية— lina dabboussy (@laluna115) January 6, 2020
Context: Riad Salameh has been under the spotlight in Lebanon for quite some time now. Since the financial state of Lebanon began its journey downhill, his name and image have been occupying the headlines of media in the country every day.
Being the man in charge of the country's central bank, he has been put under considerable amounts of pressure and scrutiny by the Lebanese people and media. So far, the financial crisis has only been worsening, and no solutions seem to have been allocated to bring back stability to the Lebanese Pound.
It was recently, when asked about the fate of the Lira, that Salameh uttered the infamous words that pushed a wave of anger and criticism his way. No one knows was his answer to the question that has been gaining heat since before the events of mid-October, 2019.
Coming back to the recent rumor, while its origin is unclear, it makes sense that it was heavily shared and seriously discussed online.
Understanding the huge responsibility that Salameh holds in the current mess, his fleeing the country and planning a resignation wouldn't be an unbelievable story to most.
The economy of Lebanon is in a very critical stage right now, and it requires the highest levels of effort and action to avoid a greater calamity.
The last thing anyone wants in the absence of a government and the decrease in the value of the Lira is a vacant "governor of the central bank" chair.