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Experts not confident Lebanon will implement IMF reforms

Economic and financial experts have reiterated doubts over the willingness of Lebanon's political elite, widely blamed for endemic corruption, to implement the reforms requested by the International Monetary Fund to resuscitate the economy, shortly after Lebanon and the IMF reached a tentative deal.

A former vice governor of Lebanon's central bank, Nasser Saidi, said he had doubts that such reforms would ever materialize.

"This is good news if the set of Monetary-Fiscal-Governance-Structural reforms including banking sector restructuring are implemented. Highly unlikely!" he wrote on Twitter.

Financial analyst Henri Chaoul dismissed the IMF agreement as a "non-event."

"The prior actions will never be done. We are light years away," he told AFP.

"We have 30 years of track record with a perfect-fit regression line," he added.

The IMF announced Thursday a conditional agreement to provide Lebanon with $3 billion in aid to help it emerge from its severe economic crisis, following months of negotiations.

The country has been battered by triple-digit inflation, soaring poverty rates and the collapse of its currency since a 2020 debt default.

Officials in Beirut applauded the announcement as it will open the door to additional financial support from foreign donors.

The deal is "a visa stamp for donor countries to begin co-operating with Lebanon and to put Lebanon back on the global finance map," Prime Minister Najib Miqati told reporters on an upbeat note after the IMF announcement of the "staff-level agreement."



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