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Tag Archives: debt

Maronite patriarch secretly angry at Hezbollah

Lebanon’s top Christian cleric has made unusually direct comments criticizing the Shi’ite Hezbollah movement, accusing it of harming the country by dragging it into regional conflicts. “I want to tell them…You want us to stay in a state of war that you decide? Are you asking us before you go …

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Israel in another election stalemate as COVID rages

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s prospects for retaining power were uncertain on Wednesday after exit polls in Israel’s fourth national election in two years projected yet another stalemate. With final results not due until later in the week, the forecasts indicated that even Netanyahu’s stewardship of a world-beating COVID-19 vaccination rollout …

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Saad Al-Hariri says Lebanon on verge of collapse without his cabinet

Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri said on Thursday after a meeting with President Michel Aoun that forming a government that could re-engage with the IMF was the only way to halt the country’s financial collapse. The meeting took place after a heated exchange on Wednesday night between the two politicians, …

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France plans further measures against Lebanon, sources say

France and its international partners will seek to increase pressure on Lebanon’s politicians in the coming months, a French diplomat said on Wednesday, although he did not envisage sanctions against individuals in the immediate term. Paris has spearheaded international efforts to rescue the former French protectorate from its deepest crisis …

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Thousands occupy Beirut in latest protest

Thousands marched in central Beirut on Friday demanding a new independent government to lift Lebanon out of its deepening crisis as frustration over the country’s financial meltdown grew. Lebanon’s economic crisis is posing the biggest threat to its stability since the 1975-1990 civil war. Erupting in late 2019, it has …

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Army refuses to put down Lebanese protesters

Lebanon’s president told the army and security forces on Monday to clear roadblocks after a week of protests over a collapsing economy and paralysed government, but the army chief warned that troops should not get sucked into the political deadlock. President Michel Aoun issued the call to open up the …

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PM Diab condemns sudden eruption of violence in Tripoli

Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister on Friday condemned overnight violence in the city of Tripoli, where protesters angry over a strict lockdown clashed with security forces and set the municipality building on fire. Thursday was the fourth straight night of unrest in one of Lebanon’s poorest cities, after the government imposed …

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Lebanese ignore Lebanon woes mobilise for Nagorno-Karabakh war

When Lebanon’s financial crisis pushed Vartkes to leave for Armenia this summer, he never imagined he would volunteer to fight in Nagorno-Karabakh. The young Lebanese-Armenian didn’t think twice, however, when the conflict between Azerbaijani and ethnic Armenian forces erupted soon after his move. “I wanted to go that night,” Vartkes, …

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Saad Al-Hariri reiterates call for French roadmap

Lebanon’s leading Sunni Muslim politician, former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, called for the restoration of a French plan to lift the nation out of its worst financial crisis since its 1975-1990 civil war. Former colonial power France, which has led foreign aid efforts, has tried to rally Lebanese leaders to …

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Ex-PM Hariri wants French intervention

Lebanon’s leading Sunni Muslim politician, former premier Saad al-Hariri, called for the restoration of a French plan to lift the nation out of its worst financial crisis since its 1975-1990 civil war. Former colonial power France, which has led foreign aid efforts, has tried to rally have Lebanese leaders to …

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Fresh protests for Netanyahu to quit

About 2,000 Israelis rallied outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem on Tuesday as protests mounted against him over his handling of a worsening coronavirus crisis and alleged corruption. Wearing protective masks, the demonstrators marched from Netanyahu’s official residence to Israel’s parliament, holding up signs that read “Crime Minister” …

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Sudan okays alcohol, and bans FMG

Sudan will permit non-Muslims to consume alcohol and strengthen women’s rights, including banning female genital mutilation (FGM), its justice minister said late on Saturday, in a reversal of almost four decades of hardline Islamist policies. About 3% of Sudan’s population is non-Muslim, according to the United Nations. Alcoholic drinks have …

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Top ministers booted out of Sudanese cabinet

Sudan’s prime minister replaced the finance, foreign, energy and health ministers and three other senior cabinet post-holders on Thursday as part of a sweeping reshuffle, the government said. Authorities had said a reshuffle was coming, but few had expected the exit of Ibrahim al-Badawi, who as finance minister led efforts …

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Financial deadlock threatens EU corona response

European Union finance ministers failed to agree in all-night talks on more support for their coronavirus-hit economies and their chairman said on Wednesday morning he was suspending the discussions until Thursday. Diplomatic sources and officials said a feud between Italy and the Netherlands over what conditions should be attached to …

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Hezbollah okay with IMF loan, but with conditions

Hezbollah does not oppose foreign aid to Lebanon, even from the International Monetary Fund, as long as the help does not impose conditions that harm the national interest, its leader said on Friday. In a televised speech, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said his Shi’ite movement, which backs the government, refused conditions …

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Lebanon formally declares its readiness for default

Lebanon announced it cannot meet its debt payments and halted a March 9 bond payment of $1.2 billion on Saturday, setting the heavily indebted state on course for a sovereign default as it grapples with a major financial crisis. In a televised address to the nation, Prime Minister Hassan Diab …

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Bond holders try to rescue Lebanon

A set of Lebanon’s bond holders are to step up efforts to form a creditor group in the coming days after the country’s presidency signaled on Saturday it would default, one of the members of the group said. The move from Lebanon will come just two days before a $1.2 …

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Oman deficit not a barrier to Fitch rating

Oman’s bond investors gained some respite this week as Fitch affirmed its rating for the indebted country and the government published encouraging deficit figures, potentially paving the way for the Gulf oil producer’s next debt sale. Rated junk by all three major rating agencies, Oman has relied heavily on borrowing …

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Greeks still waiting for Godot despite end to bailouts

After years of stinging austerity measures, Greece emerged on Monday from its third and last bailout, although officials warn the country still has a “long way to go”. The European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loaned debt-wracked Greece a total of €289 billion ($330 …

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