PM accuses “local, external parties” of pushing Lebanon into crisis

Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab accused on Thursday “local and external parties” of pushing Lebanon deeper into crisis, the National News Agency reported.

“These parties play the game of raising the price of the U.S. dollar and speculating on the Lebanese pound,” Diab said without specifying who was impeding the government’s efforts to stabilize the exchange rate.

Diab’s remarks came during a cabinet meeting held at the Grand Serail in the presence of Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh and head of the Association of Banks in Lebanon Salim Sfeir to discuss economic and financial developments in the country.

Diab has previously held Salameh responsible for the Lebanese pound’s collapse.

Also, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is holding negotiations with Lebanon aimed at restructuring the country’s debt, accused the central bank governor of the collapse of the Lebanese pound and the creation of a black market for the U.S. dollar.

The Lebanese pound has been weakening in an unprecedented way for the past few months due to the shortage in U.S. dollar in the country and the high demand on the foreign currency.