World, Middle East

Lebanon goes bankrupt: Deputy prime minister

Lebanon has been grappling with severe economic crisis since 2019

Wassim Seif El-Din  | 04.04.2022 - Update : 04.04.2022
Lebanon goes bankrupt: Deputy prime minister

BEIRUT, Lebanon 

Lebanon as a state and its central bank have gone bankrupt, according to Deputy Prime Minister Saadeh al-Shami.

"The state has gone bankrupt as did the Banque du Liban, and the loss has occurred, and we will seek to reduce losses for the people," Al-Shami told the local Al-Jadeed channel.

He said the losses will be distributed among the state, the Banque du Liban, banks and depositors.

“There is no conflict of views about the distribution of losses,” he added.

Since late 2019, Lebanon has been grappling with a severe economic crisis, including a massive currency depreciation as well as fuel and medical shortages.

The Lebanese currency has lost 90% of its value, eroding people’s ability to access basic goods, including food, water, healthcare, and education, while widespread power outages are common due to fuel shortages.

Al-Shami said the country’s situation “cannot be ignored” hence bank withdrawals cannot be open to all people.

“I wish we were in a normal situation," he added.

Cash withdrawals in foreign currency in Lebanon have been strictly limited since 2019 due to the ongoing economic crisis.

*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara

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