Kristalina Georgieva, the executive director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said that Lebanon is currently in such a bad economic situation that it’s “very important” for the country “to receive the assistance of international organizations.”
As Georgieva put it, “the situation in Lebanon is very difficult.”
Not only is the country in need of the support of the likes of the IMF for the financial benefits of it, but because “it needs to show the ability to change its fate,” as the executive director maintained.
The remarks were made in a statement in which the IMF confirmed its intentions to send experts to offer technical help and evaluate its financial conditions.
The experts, who should arrive in Lebanon in a few days, are expected to work with Lebanese professionals on solving the problem of the $1.2 billion-Eurobond maturing in the first half of the upcoming March.
But clearly, this bond and the ones that will follow during this year are not Lebanon’s only dilemma.
According to Kristalina Georgieva, to get out of its difficulties, “Lebanon must make important decisions related to its general policies after it’s been constantly postponing the implementation of fundamental reforms.”
Notably, as another IMF senior official declared around a week ago, Lebanon has not asked for the organization’s direct financial support.
Instead, as Gerry Rice explained, the IMF was only asked to provide the Lebanese government with technical help in the form of a team of specialists in international finance.
Nevertheless, Rice expressed the organization’s “readiness to assist the Lebanese authorities in their work on a required package of necessary economic and structural reforms to deal with the problem of public confidence.”
With March 9th approaching, the same authorities are fumbling to choose between defaulting the dollar bond (something Lebanon has never done before), and going through with its repayment.
Whichever of the two counterproductive decisions the government finally goes with, Lebanon’s “difficult situation” will probably only grow worse, judging by the general atmosphere.