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Lebanon’s New PM Seeks Plan to Restore Confidence

Lebanon’s New PM Seeks Plan to Restore Confidence

Wednesday, 29 January, 2020 - 10:30
FILE PHOTO: Hassan Diab talks to the media after being named Lebanon's new prime minister, at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon December 19, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab asked the government to cooperate with the banking sector on Wednesday to prepare a plan to restore "the minimum degree of confidence" as the country faces a severe economic crisis.

At a meeting held at the Grand Serail to discuss the financial and economic situation, Diab said the first impressions he got from the central bank and banking association was that there were still "ways out" of the crisis, a statement said.

“This doesn’t mean that solutions are easy to find,” he added.

Lebanon has since October 17 been gripped by street protests that toppled Saad Hariri’s government and created a three-month political vacuum until Diab’s cabinet was announced last week.

In recent months, thousands of Lebanese have been laid off or seen their salaries slashed as the value of the Lebanese pound has fallen by more than a third on the parallel exchange market.

Lebanon committed in 2018 to slashing public spending as part of reforms to unlock more than $11 billion in desperately needed international aid.

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