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Lebanon at crossroads to improve or deteriorate: Mikati

December 22, 2022 at 6:32 pm

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati [Houssam Shbaro – Anadolu Agency]

Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati said Thursday that Lebanon is at a crossroads: improve its conditions or further deteriorate, Anadolu reports.

Mikati’s statement was made at the opening of the Arab Economic Forum in Beirut.

Mikati said if the country managed to realize the first scenario, the economy will grow 4% or 5% in 2023 and will help stabilize the Lebanese pound.

He said such a scenario can take place if a new president is elected and a new government is that will implement a real reform program.

Mikati said the second scenario will deepen the economic recession and troubles in all sectors which will affect social conditions as well as the exchange rate of the pound.

But he said the country’s economy grew in 2022 by 2%, despite the continued political deadlock. He attributed the growth to an increase in abroad transactions, which grew 7% and an increase in tourism — up 70%.

The country has been without a fully functioning government since May, with Mikati and his Cabinet having limited powers in their current caretaker status.

Former President Michel Aoun left office Oct. 31 after completing a six-year term, without lawmakers agreeing on a successor.

Lebanon has been facing a crippling economic crisis since 2019 that, according to the World Bank, is one of the worst the world has seen in modern times.

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