Exclusive: France sends reform roadmap to Lebanon in crisis


Macron visited Beirut shortly after the explosion and made it clear that no blank checks would be handed over to the Lebanese state if it did not pass reforms against waste, corruption and neglect.

Since then, he has had several phone calls with key political leaders as part of the country’s sectarian power-sharing system, a Lebanese political source said. Macron is due to return to Beirut on September 1.

Political rivalries and factional interests prevented the formation of a new government capable of tackling the financial crisis that devastated the currency, crippled the banking system and spread poverty. [L8N2FS4PV]

The French concept paper stresses the need for an immediate and comprehensive audit of state finances and reform of the electricity sector, which is draining public funds while not providing enough electricity.

Parliament should enact the laws necessary to effect the change in the interim period, he said. “The factions must commit to voting on the key actions the new government will take in the coming months. “

The roadmap could deepen France’s role in Lebanon, a former French colony.

The document says that Paris will play a major role in rebuilding the Port of Beirut, boost healthcare, send teams from its treasury and central bank to support the financial audit, and help organize the early parliamentary vote, with the European Union.

(Reporting by Laila Bassam; Writing by Raya Jalabi; Editing by Mark Heinrich)


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