Lebanon risks disappearing if no new government formed: French FM

Lebanon risks disappearing if no new government formed: French FM

France’s foreign minister said on Thursday that Lebanon risked disappearing due to the inaction of its political elite who needed to quickly implement a new government to implement crucial reforms for the country.

“The international community will not sign a blank check if the they [Lebanese authorities] don’t put in place the reforms. They must do it quickly … because the risk today is the disappearance of Lebanon,” Jean-Yves Le Drian told RTL radio.

A general view shows the damaged grain silo following Tuesday's blast in Beirut's port area, Lebanon. (Reuters)A general view shows the damaged grain silo following Tuesday’s blast in Beirut’s port area, Lebanon. (Reuters)

Lebanon in trouble

Three weeks after the catastrophic explosion at Beirut port, Lebanon is drifting towards even more trouble as its politicians fail to agree a new government that can arrest a financial meltdown.

As Lebanon grapples with the aftermath of the blast that killed 180 people, its politicians have been locked in fruitless talks to agree on a new prime minister who might be able to restart International Monetary Fund talks and enact reforms.

Even before the August 4 port explosion, caused by unsafely stored chemicals, the financial collapse had devastated lives across Lebanon, fueling hyperinflation and poverty and demolishing the value of savings in a now zombie banking system.

An intervention by French President Emmanuel Macron, who is due to visit Lebanon again on Sept. 1, has been unable to break the impasse among the sectarian leaders responsible for steering Lebanon into crisis.

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