SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 23 April 2024, Tuesday |

No solution except by implementing IMF conditions as quickly as possible.

The violation of the report issued by the International Monetary Fund occurred during the calm of the Eid al-Adha holiday, which had an additional gloomy impact on the already struggling economic and financial conditions that the country has been facing for over three years. This is not the first time the IMF has sounded the alarm, and it will not be the last as long as there is a presidential vacancy and a consequent paralysis of political authorities.
Ironically, since April 7, 2022, the date of the initial agreement between Lebanon and the International Monetary Fund, the economic and financial collapse has continued rapidly. Instead of implementing a recovery plan, decision-makers continue to go around the bush, without reaching any political consensus to rescue the economic situation, even at its minimum.

During this time, Lebanon remains under the scrutiny of the international community, particularly the IMF, which is still awaiting the required reform steps. Consequently, the IMF has issued its latest report, which described the country’s reality as extremely bleak and dire.
Economic sources, as reported by “Sawt Beirut International,” considered that despite the agreement between Lebanon and the IMF, which included broad outlines, there is still a lack of trust from the IMF towards the current political system. It is worth noting that the ultimate solution lies in implementing the required reforms as demanded internationally.
The sources noted that those who reject the decisions of the International Monetary Fund fail to propose alternative solutions. They consider that the measures put forth by the IMF are logical given the current circumstances. It is expected that upon reaching a final agreement with the IMF, Lebanon would receive $3 billion, which could potentially reach around $20 billion, considering that the World Bank would automatically provide a similar amount to what the IMF offers. This would be followed by contributions from various European and Arab funds. Therefore, without an agreement with the IMF, no one can provide assistance, according to the sources. They also regard the IMF’s conditions, which are typically challenging, as normal for Lebanon. Whether it is lifting banking secrecy or implementing capital controls, it is no secret that a significant amount of money has legally and legitimately exited Lebanon based on Lebanese law. However, the outflow of these funds under the current circumstances was unethical. Therefore, the role of capital controls is to halt the outflow of money. The sources emphasize that even if there is a delay in implementing this law, its execution remains crucial.
The sources highlighted that the financial collapse of the country requires a search for revenues, but in a scientific, studied, and non-chaotic manner, unlike the current situation, in order to balance income and expenditure. Therefore, it is crucial for the officials to put an end to wasteful practices and control smuggling in all its forms, especially since the increase in the customs exchange rate did not benefit the state as intended.

The sources concluded by emphasizing the importance of approving the 2023 budget. They considered that the minimum the government can do is to present a budget proposal, even if it is a resigned government.

    Source:
  • Sawt Beirut International