IMF negotiations hit rock bottom as crisis mounts

The IMF and Lebanese officials have held 16 meetings up to this point as Lebanon seeks a multi-billion dollar bailout.

3 July 2020 | 21:08

  • Last update: 3 July 2020 | 21:08

Pedestrians pass by the International Monetary Fund headquarters building in Washington. (AP Photo)

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s negotiations with the International Monetary Fund have hit rock bottom, signaling a near insurmountable crisis for the small Mediterranean country.

Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni said Thursday that talks have been put “on hold” because of a lack of a unified stance from Lebanon’s political establishment.

The IMF and Lebanese officials have held 16 meetings up to this point as Lebanon seeks a multi-billion dollar bailout.

The lack of reforms implemented are also to blame, Wazni said, with officials yet to tackle a lost list of requirements stipulated by the IMF.

With Lebanon’s national currency losing more than 80 percent of its value, poverty has risen to an all-time high.

Lebanese are struggling to put food on the table, pushing two people Friday to commit suicide.

One young man from Hermel shot himself by the Sarroula Building on Beirut’s Hamra street while Another one was found dead in his home in Saida.

The first left a copy of his "judicial record" on his chest. It declared his clean record. He also left a note: "I am not a heretic. But hunger is heresy.

In an attempt to curb Lebanon’s fuel shortage, which has caused massive outages nationwide, Prime Minister Hassan Diab held talks with Iraqi officials to bolster trading ties.

Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismail said they had “deliberated on exporting some surplus petroleum products – especially black oil – to the energy market in Lebanon, the export mechanism, and how to organize long-term relations.”

Lebanon’s fuel supply has dropped significantly, leading to massive power rationing. The shortage also made it's to Beirut’s airport, with a Turkish plane failing to land Thursday night after runway lights went out.

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