A delegation from the International Monetary Fund concluded its visit to Lebanon on March 23 and issued a statement summing up its mission & pointing out the parties responsible for hindering financial recovery.
These parties include the Central Bank for increasing liquidity in Lebanese pounds and encouraging speculation, the parliament for not passing the required Banking Secrecy and Capital Control laws, the government for adopting multiple and unrealistic exchange rates in its budget and the banks of course for refusing to acknowledge their losses and prioritizing the protection of small depositors.
The IMF Mission Chief to Lebanon Ernesto Rigo warned that Lebanon is in a very dangerous situation and that it will be “mired in a never-ending crisis without implementing rapid reforms”.
Nevertheless, the IMF did not give a deadline for Lebanon to implement these reforms, and the Lebanese authorities don’t seem too adamant to move on with an IMF deal as it will expose their decades-long theft and corruption. Why would the Lebanese state even consider dealing with the IMF when they continue to steal whatever is left at the Central Bank and put aside every dollar we get from abroad? Why would they do anything differently when people continue to vote for them?
The real danger is not the crumbling economy or the fragile banks, but the Lebanese people who would rather stay loyal to his sectarian leader than vote him out and fight for change. Until this mentality changes, there’s no hope for reforms.
On a final note, if the IMF and the international community are serious about helping Lebanon, they should stop giving the same politicians who ruined the country second chances. Macron’s visit and “threats” backfired and strengthened the ruling parties and the IMF not giving deadlines is not helping as well.