French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told Lebanese leaders that seven months of political stalemate in forming a cabinet is worsening the country’s economic crisis.
Jean-Yves Le Drian called on Lebanese President Michel Aoun, Acting Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri and deplored the seven months of political stalemate which is worsening the economic crisis in Lebanon, according to a cabinet statement. from the Minister of Foreign Affairs on Monday.
“The deliberate obstruction of any prospect of exiting the crisis … by unreasonable and outdated demands must immediately end,” he said.
“The time has come to step up the pressure” to end the blockage, he added.
Last week, talks between Aoun and Hariri on forming a new cabinet collapsed.
Le Drian is also calling on his European counterparts to join the campaign for action. Last year, French President Emmanuel Macron proposed a roadmap to break the political deadlock in the former French protectorate.
Worst economic crisis
Macron pressured Lebanese politicians to form a cabinet of non-partisan specialists capable of working on urgent reforms to pull Lebanon out of a financial crisis made worse by the August 4 explosion that devastated Beirut.
These efforts have come to naught as Lebanese politicians continue to bicker over the shape and size of a new cabinet as the country is plunged into the worst economic crisis in modern history – a situation exacerbated by restrictions pandemic.
The Lebanese economy is in free fall with parliament on Monday approving an emergency funding program simply to keep the lights on after one of the country’s largest power plants runs out of fuel.
More than half of the population lives in poverty, according to the United Nations.
Over the past month, protests have swept through Lebanese cities as the value of the Lebanese pound continues to soar.
The value of the currency fell to 10,000 against the dollar in early March. Less than a week later, it hit an all-time high of 15,000, actually losing around 90% of its value since late 2019.