Lebanon has suspended IMF talks, says finance minister

Due to internal disagreement over estimated losses

03 July, 18:12

    BEIRUT - The Lebanese government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have suspended talks for the granting by the IMF of economic support to the country, which in March declared default and is experiencing its worst economic crisis in 30 years.

    Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni made the announcement on Friday to Lebanese media, saying that technically the talks are ''continuing'' but that they are de facto stalled due to disagreements with the government under Prime Minister Hasan Diab, the banks association and the central bank about the calculation of economic losses experienced by the state in recent years.

    Local media say that IMF negotiators are waiting for Lebanese authorities to provide exact figures on losses and are waiting to see the application of reforms promised by the Diab government, in line with the plan proved by the parliament in May.

    In the last government meeting on Thursday in Beirut, representatives of the banks association and the central bank took part.

    In recent days there was also the resignation of the director general of the finance ministry, Alain Bifani, after twenty years in the position, due to the disagreements on the calculation of losses requested by the IMF.

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