In light of the results of the meeting between Prime Minister Najib Mikati and French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, the Council of Ministers will hold its first session on Wednesday and will discuss launching negotiations again with the International Monetary Fund.
It is reported that the government is in the process of forming a committee tasked with preparing to start negotiations with the Fund on behalf of Lebanon, headed by the Deputy Prime Minister, Souada Al-Shami, and the membership of the Ministers of Finance, Economy, Energy and Social Affairs, and the Governor of the Banque du Liban.
But the delegation is already surrounded by a long package of reforms, amid warnings of repeating the mistake made by the government of Hassan Diab. During the first meeting held at that time with the IMF, the Lebanese delegation disagreed and was divided into two groups:
The government team and the Banque du Liban team. Each team had different approaches, what constituted an unprecedented scandal, and each team met separately with representatives of the fund.
Financial sources reveal to Sawt Beirut International that the delegation’s mission is difficult, with international confidence in Lebanon reaching its lowest levels, the financial collapse deepening, and the lira losing more than 90% of its value. The sources indicated that negotiations will start in the first half of next month, and the cooperation program with the IMF requires several sessions that extend for a long period, and the delegation must adopt a new rescue plan that simulates the reality as it is and the losses are in their true size.
As for the conditions of the fund, they are harsh:
Restoring the solvency and solidity of the financial system
Reducing the size of the public sector, overburdening employees, and privatizing
Abolishing the multiple exchange rate system and liberalizing the exchange rate
Raising audit support in institutions, including the Central Bank.
In the end, the IMF path is inevitable, but will it be politically facilitated? Certainly, it is fraught with mines, and it is also certain that the corruption of the political system will be exposed to the largest financial institution in the world.