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Finance minister says Lebanon not bankrupt

Jul 10

Finance minister says Lebanon not bankrupt

BEIRUT, July 9 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil said on Tuesday that Lebanon is going through a tough economic and financial situation but it is not bankrupt.

'We are not a bankrupt country and there is a great willingness to cooperate with the Central Bank in order to manage the financial and banking situation. We are capable to go on and to maintain our stability,' Khalil was quoted as saying by Elnashra, an online independent newspaper.

However, Khalil added that the government and the parliament still have a big responsibility to implement the reform measures in the 2019 state budget.

He noted that the 2019 state budget is only a start for a bigger reform project.

The minister also emphasized the need to increase the government's revenues by dealing with tax evasion and reform of the electricity sector.

The parliament is currently discussing the 2019 state budget which is expected to be approved by mid-July.

However, the budget has been faced with criticism by local economists who believe that the government did not take serious austerity measures while it could have done a lot more.