Prime Minister Of Lebanon Didn’t Hold Back Against The Central Bank Governor

Reuters l REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

There are big gaps in the Central Bank, a gap in the performance, a gap in the strategies, a gap in honesty and clarity, a gap in the currency policies, and a gap in the calculations. ~ Prime Minister Hassan Diab.

In his speech delivered from the presidential palace in Baabda, and covering the critical financial, social, and health conditions in Lebanon, Prime Minister Hassan Diab didn’t hold back against the Governor of the Central Bank, exposing discrepancies, and revealing leakage of billions of dollars.

He acknowledged that fighting COVID-19 is taking a lot of effort and so is fighting the deterioration of the Lebanese pound.

He pointed out that “the deterioration of the exchange rate of the Lebanese Lira is accelerating suspiciously in the black market.”

He stressed that, despite the limited authority the government has in dealing with this deterioration, it is doing its best.

He also pointed out a “suspicious ambiguity” in the performance of the Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh.

“The data in our hands reveals that the losses accumulated in the Central Bank are escalating in gravity and have amounted to 7 billion dollars since the beginning of this year till mid-April, among which 3 billion these past 4 weeks,” Diab noted.

In context, he said: “The policy of dealing with situations behind the scene is no longer possible. The way of dealing with people should be changed. There shouldn’t be hidden information.”

“So let the Governor [of the Central Bank] come out and announce to the Lebanese people the facts in all honesty: How high can the exchange rate go and how much can be done to fix this,” he stressed.

“Can Salameh go on reassuring people about the price of the Lebanese Lira? Suddenly, those reassurances are gone,” he pointed out.

He went on to state in a firm tone that there are big gaps in the Central Bank regarding performance, clarity, honesty, currency policies, and calculations.

He announced that, accordingly, a historical decision has been taken with the president of the republic to assign a neutral international company to audit the accounts of the Central Bank.

He stressed that it is now required to act quickly, for the figures reveal withdrawal of $5.7 billion from the deposits in the Lebanese banks during January and February of this year, and that without us checking since then to-date.

Therefore, the Prime Minister asks that all money, which was transferred abroad since October 2019 by officials and those in high positions or upon their requests, be returned.

For the complete speech, listen to the video below:

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