BEIRUT, September 14 (Hfrance.fr) - Lebanon will sign a new central bank judicial audit contract with Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) in a few days, said the outgoing finance minister Ghazi Wazni said mardi, signaling new impetus to meet a key donor demand.
Wazni spoke at a ceremony handing over control of the ministry to new Minister of Finance Youssef Khalil, member of the government accepted Friday which must facing one of the worst financial debacles in history. learn more
Wazni, who participated in the IMF talks last year, said that opposition in Lebanon to the IMF negotiations has since disappeared, and that everyone now considered the IMF negotiations to be inevitable.
The negLast year 's negotiations with the IMF were derailed when politicians and the banking sector challenged the extent of the financial losses predicted in a financial recovery plan drawn up by the government.
Since then, Lebanon 's financial collapse has deepened: more than three quarters of the population now live in poverty, the currency has lost 90% of its value, and the country is crippled by fuel shortages.
Wazni said an IMF program was the only way out of the crisis. "When we started negotiating with the Fund in March 2020, the majority were against it, and today everyone considers negotiations with them inevitable," Wazni said.
The new government headed by Prime Minister Najib Mikati was adopted on Friday after a year of political battles for cabinet seats. MikatI said he would seek talks with the IMF.
Khalil, the new finance minister, has been a senior central bank official and is close of its veteran governor Riad Salameh. He also participated in Lebanon's meetings with the IMF last year.
Like Wazni, he was endorsed by the Speaker of the Shiite Muslim parliament Nabih Berri, one of the most powerful politicians in Lebanon.
The audit plan, a key requirement for Lebanon to obtain a Vital foreign aid, hit a roadblock in November, when restructuring consultancy A&M pulled out, claiming it had not received the information it needed from the central bank.
The finance ministry said in April that the central bank had agreed to hand over the documents required by A&M. find out more
Khalil, speaking alongside Wazni, said failure in his new role was not an option, saying it would only exacerbate Lebanon's problems. Report By Maha El Dahan; Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Catherine Evans, Edmund Blair, William Maclean
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