In an interview, Governor of the Banque du Liban Riad Salameh declared that he does not intend to resign from his position, which he has held for close to three decades.
The interview was conducted by American CNBC anchor Hadley Gamble, who was straightforward in asking a question that has been on the minds of many Lebanese lately: “Would you be prepared to resign?”
To that, Salameh said: “I don’t want to resign because I am continuing what I have in my mind as a strategy to get out of this crisis, and I’m sorry to disappoint those who are spreading rumors on my resignation every day.”
As to his response to the Lebanese who have been complaining about the painful and worsening economic, financial, and monetary conditions, Salameh defended the central bank’s current management and policies.
“The Lebanese have the right to say that,” he stated, “but they don’t have to say that it’s the Central Bank of Lebanon that is responsible for this situation.”
“We didn’t create the deficit in the government; we have always called for a reduction in the deficit. We also didn’t create the deficit in the current account.”
According to Salameh, the management of the BDL under his governance, for the last 27 years, has helped “maintain this country afloat while it lived wars, assassinations, civil strife…”
Since countrywide protests erupted in October 2019, Riad Salameh has been a big target for enraged citizens who have blamed a majority of Lebanon’s recent downfall on his alleged mismanagement and corruption.
A few weeks ago, the Financial Times released financial statements that indicated that Salameh had used unorthodox accounting measures to boost the BDL’s assets.