Negotiations between representatives of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Lebanese government have been suspended in the middle of the worst economic crisis that the country has endured. Tens of thousands of Lebanese citizens have lost their jobs amid a severe collapse of the economy.
In March, for the first time in its history, Lebanon failed to pay due Eurobonds, amounting to a total value of more than $30 billion, which pushed the authorities to request the IMF’s assistance.
A Lebanese negotiator, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that: “The IMF left the meeting, and the negotiations were suspended.”
Another source familiar with the negotiations process disclosed that: “The IMF representatives did not believe that the Lebanese delegation is serious enough. No one wants to reform, and every party is serving its own interest while letting the country burn.”
Since May, the Lebanese authorities held 16 meetings with the IMF and since then, the differences have been apparent between the government’s estimates of the total losses suffered by the state and the banks, and the estimates of the Central Bank and the Association of Banks in Lebanon (ABL). The majority of the country’s debt is owed to the banks.