Naharnet

Aoun Says Austerity Measures are 'Hard' but Will Pay Off

President Michel Aoun on Tuesday said the austere budget measures planned by the government will “pay off” in the end and will help Lebanon overcome the economic “crisis.”

“We inherited a debt of over $80 billion and a deteriorating economic situation. What we are doing is necessary to get out of the crisis and the Lebanese will sense how everything is going to improve later on,” said Aoun during a meeting with a delegation of the Syndicate of Opticians in Lebanon.

Lebanon has vowed to slash public spending to unlock $11 billion worth of aid pledged by international donors during an April 2018 conference in Paris.

Last month, Prime Minister Saad Hariri vowed to introduce "the most austere budget in Lebanon's history" to combat the country's bulging fiscal deficit, sparking fears among public sector employees that their salaries may be cut.

Lebanon is one of the world's most indebted countries, with public debt estimated at 141 percent of GDP in 2018, according to credit ratings agency Moody's.

Source: Naharnet


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