Lebanon Daily News Brief 6/8/2021
Central Bank Allows Dollar Withdrawals Up to $400
Today the Central Bank ordered Lebanese banks to allow customers to withdraw up to $400 in fresh dollars in addition to $400 worth in Lebanese pounds. To withdraw in dollars customers must have had foreign currency accounts since before October 30, 2019. [The Daily Star] Lebanese pound withdrawals will be made at an exchange rate eight times higher than the official rate, which is 1,515 to the dollar. [Naharnet]
President Aoun Approves $200 Million Fuel Loan
President Michel Aoun has approved a $200 million loan for an advanced fuel payment following caretaker Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni’s approval yesterday. The loan for Lebanon’s state-run Electricite du Liban was initially approved by parliament in March, but was held up in a legal review. Lebanese face regular power outages as the country struggles to maintain enough funds to cover EDL costs. [Reuters]
Nasrallah Says Hezbollah Ready to Seek Fuel Help From Iran
In a speech today, Hezbollah Chief Hassan Nasrallah said he was ready to seek help from Iran in dealing with Lebanon’s fuel shortage. He suggested Hezbollah could negotiate with the Iranian government to buy fuel shipments in Lebanese pounds. [The Daily Star]
OPINION & ANALYSIS
Robbed Of Their Future – Who Will Make It Right?
AbiNader writes: “The World Bank keeps ringing the alarms on how Lebanon’s disastrous leadership is abetting the collapse of the country, but to no avail. On June 1, it released the most recent Lebanon Economic Monitor entitled, ‘Lebanon Sinking to the Top 3,’ an ironic twist on achieving something that is far from desirable, becoming perhaps one of the worst economic crises in more than 150 years…With subsidies in sight, no apparent willingness to creatively stabilize the currency, and no movement to shrink the country’s budget, Lebanon’s governing class is running out of excuses. They must take needed steps toward reform or rescue themselves so that the hard work can begin.”
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the American Task Force on Lebanon, a non-profit, nonpartisan leadership organization of Lebanese-Americans.