Khalil: Lebanon Isn't Bankrupt… New Budget Is a Milestone for Reform
Minister of Finance Ali Hassan Khalil stressed on Friday that Lebanon is capable of endurance and is not bankrupt as alleged in reports, noting that the new State budget is a milestone for reform.
“Many possibilities exist to manage the financial and monetary situation in cooperation between the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance,” said Khalil in an interview with Alaraby TV station on Friday.
“Rest assured that we are able to endure and continue, but this does not negate the responsibility of the government, the parliament and political forces in carrying out a group of reformative measures starting from the budget of 2019,” he added.
The Minister noted that the general political situation needs to be strengthened so as not to shake the belief of investors and Lebanese expatriates.
“I am not hiding the fact that Lebanon suffers from an economic crisis when I say we are confident of our ability to continue. The economic situation is very difficult and the public finances are in deficit, but we are not heading towards collapse,” he said, noting that the budget draft is a milestone towards a bigger reform project.
On the US sanctions against Hizbullah, the Minister said there is “close cooperation between the Ministry and BDL to address the sanctions file. Although it targets Hizbullah, but it has a broader impact as it affects the economic and financial situation in Lebanon.
“We expressed this position to all the delegations that came to Lebanon,” he said, adding that “there is no interest whatsoever in keeping the sanctions and spreading them further.”