Hezbollah MP urges new Lebanon govt. to talk with banks to lower debt servicing
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Hezbollah MP urges new Lebanon govt. to talk with banks to lower debt servicing

“I call on the government to hold dialogue with the banks, a serious dialogue,” Hassan Fadlallah told a parliamentary session on Tuesday, adding that it should be “serious and constructive dialogue to bring down the cost of the debt.” “Yes we are all in one boat, and the banks are with us in this boat. God forbid if the financial and monetary situation is shaken what will happen to these banks?” he said. The legislator further noted that his movement is especially eager for the new government to succeed in its plans, stressing that supervision of ministers and the fight against corruption must be among the top priorities of the administration. “We seek an efficient government and we are keen on its success. This parliament represents the entire Lebanon. Its key role is legislation and supervision. The first step must be the supervision of ministers and their abidance by the laws,” Fadlallah said. He also called for the removal banking secrecy to shed light on the accounts of the new government’s ministers and crack down on illicit financial activity. “There are ministers, who talk of money laundering and deals in their private meetings that amount to nearly US 400 million dollars,” he noted. Lebanese Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil told Arabic-language al-Akhbar daily newspaper last month that his ministry was “preparing a financial correction plan including restructuring of public debt” which was needed to spare Lebanon “dramatic developments.” “The public debt cannot continue in this way,” Khalil said. Details of the plan had not been revealed to anyone, he pointed out. Lebanon has one of the largest public debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio in the world. The figure stands at around 150 percent, and much of it has been accumulated through the cost of servicing existing debt. The economy has suffered from years of low growth.

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