Lebanon announces bankruptcy
Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced that his government would not pay the $ 1.2 billion debt due on 9 March 2020.
Lebanon government will suspend a $1.2 billion Eurobond payment due on 9 March 2020 and hold talks with creditors to restructure its entire $90 billion debt pile.
"Our foreign currency reserves have reached a critical and dangerous level, forcing the Lebanese Republic to suspend payment on its March Eurobond. How can a country’s economy grow on borrowing and how can we be truly free while we’re drowning in deb" said Prime Minister Hassan Diab.
Diab noted that the country’s ratio of debt to gross domestic product had reached 170 per cent and it was neither right nor possible to keep borrowing to finance corruption that had become entrenched in the public sector.
After the protests that were triggered by planned taxes on gasoline, tobacco and VoIP calls on applications such as WhatsApp, Lebanon entered a political crisis, with Prime Minister Saad Hariri tendering his resignation and echoing protesters' demands for a government of independent specialists.
On 19 December 2019, former Minister of Education Hassan Diab was designated the next prime minister and tasked with forming a new cabinet.
On 22 January, Lebanon named Hassan Diab as its prime minister to lead the new cabinet of 20 members, after three months of mass protests. Diab was appointed with the support of Hezbollah, its allies, and the Free Patriotic Movement led by Gebran Bassil. (ILKHA)