Diab Says Govt. in the Dark on BDL Decisions, to Speak Friday

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Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced Wednesday that Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh is not coordinating with the government when taking key decisions that have an impact on the dollar exchange rate and the financial situation.

“As for Salameh’s decision yesterday, we had no prior knowledge of it and the government was not informed of it. Banque du Liban is not coordinating with the executive authority over the resolutions it is issuing and I will speak and have a stance after Friday’s cabinet session,” Diab told reporters after parliament’s legislative session at the UNESCO Palace theater.

“There should be better coordination between the central bank governor and the government and we will voice firm stances during and after Friday’s cabinet session,” he added.

Noting that “the political attack on the government is expected,” Diab hope it will not affect “social and food security.”

“The government has only been in power for 70 days since winning the vote of confidence and since then we have faced 70 disasters,” he lamented.

The prime minister also noted that the government did not finish its economic plan this week due to parliament’s legislative session, promising that it will be finalized next week.

Salameh had on Tuesday issued a memo asking banks to allow depositors with foreign currency accounts exceeding $3,000 in value to withdraw their savings in Lebanese pounds at the “market rate,” likely to signify 2,600 pounds to the dollar.

He had issued a similar memo in recent weeks related to accounts containing less than $3,000 each.

Salameh said he issued the memo “out of keenness on the public interest amid the current extraordinary circumstances that the country is going through,” noting that the resolution is valid for six months. But critics have warned that such measures will have a detrimental impact on the value of the Lebanese pound.

Source  Naharnet

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