Lebanese Pound Falls As French Envoy Attempts To Catalyze Government Formation

TDS/Mohammad Azakir

On Thursday, the Lebanese pound fell slightly after being stable for a couple of days as the French envoy begins talks with Lebanon’s political leaders to catalyze government formation.

The pound was trading at around 7,450 LBP until Thursday when it dropped slightly trading at 7,500 LBP. The dollar is being sold on the black market for as low as 7,400 LBP and bought around 7,550 LBP.

The adviser to French President Emmanuel Macron for Middle Eastern and North African affairs, Patrick Durel, arrived on Wednesday for a two-day visit to meet with Lebanese leaders.

Durel will attempt to push again for the French initiative to rescue crisis-hit Lebanon and reignite the stalled government formation.

The government formation took a standstill as the head of the parliament’s largest bloc ‘Strong Lebanon’, former minister MP Gebran Bassil, was sanctioned by the United States for his role in corruption.

Durel is also set to discuss the upcoming support conference that aims to financially assist Lebanon’s state as part of the French initiative.

However, if a government is not formed by the end of November, the funds will reportedly be redirected to civil society organizations rather than the government.

Lebanon has been without a government since former PM Hassan Diab resigned after the Beirut Port explosion and is currently acting as caretaker premier while Saad Hariri is a designated-PM attempting to form a government.

The drop in the local currency also comes ahead of the implementation of a full lockdown scheduled to begin on Saturday as Lebanon faces a rise in coronavirus infections.

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