Finance Minister Just Declared Lebanese Currency Impossible to Recover

Newly-appointed Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni told LBC that it will be impossible for the currency to return to the original exchange value of 1,500LL, according to Reuters.

This is due to the price of dollars rising above the official pegged rate over the past months.

MP Wazni added that stopping the collapse of the Lebanese economy would be possible with the arrival of foreign aid.

Hours after he was appointed on January 21st, he talked about the Lebanese crisis and emphasized the need for action.

He said to Al-Jadeed news, “We are in a state of collapse and if we continue this way, we will be in a phase of bankruptcy.” 

He also added that the [new] Cabinet will have to come up with a comprehensive rescue plan to save the Lebanese economy.

People’s reactions to MP Wazni’s statements were that of very little surprise. He was simply confirming what we all knew all along. We’ve reached a point of no return with the devaluation of our currency.

Ever since October, there has been a dwindling in the value of the currency that reached around 2500LL on Jan 14th before it just began to stabilize on Jan 21st to around 2000LL.

That came upon a meeting between Riad Salameh, head of the Central Bank, and the exchange houses, leading to a forced adjustment.

This dollar crisis has forced many businesses to shut down and a lot of people to lose their jobs as the price of the dollar began to increase.

Even those who are employed are having difficulty getting their salaries as banks simply don’t have enough dollars to meet the demand.

Asking for foreign aid has already been attempted by the previous government of Saad El-Hariri, which led to a set of proposed reforms that were instantly rejected by the protesters.

This begs the question: Is the new government going to be willing to take the necessary steps that are required to apply for foreign aid?

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