Written by Pavani Hapuarachchi
25 Dec, 2021 | 4:21 pm
(News 1st): Lebanon needs “six to seven years” to emerge from the crisis it is currently in, the country’s President Michel Aoun has said.
Lebanon is in the third year of an economic meltdown that began in 2019 when the financial system collapsed under the weight of huge state debt and lack of foreign currency as a result of decades of corruption, economic mismanagement, and unsustainable financing, foreign media reported.
According to foreign media reports, during a televised interview on Friday (Dec. 24), President Michel Aoun said Lebanon had reached this point as a result of “misdeeds, theft, corruption, and failures by the system” and that a much-needed “intellectual and practical” change would surely be implemented to correct it.
He reiterated in a tweet, “What the Lebanese people are suffering and living today is a result of deeds by those in power in the past who were entrusted with citizen’s lives.”
Aoun’s comments came just days after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made scathing comments on the causes of Lebanon’s financial collapse in a leaked video circulated on social media, according to foreign media.
In the leaked video, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says, “As far as I understand what has happened in Lebanon is that Lebanon was using something similar to a Ponzi scheme… which means that together with corruption and other, probably, forms of stealing, the financial system has collapsed.”
According to foreign media reports, while many critics of the Lebanese government have compared the financial system to a Ponzi scheme, depending on fresh borrowing to pay back the existing debt; however, the country’s Central Bank has denied these claims.
The Lebanese pound has lost more than 90 percent of its value as a result of the financial crash.
(Source: Al Jazeera)
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