Finance minster signs audit contracts and lead Lebanon negotiator for IMF quits

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The contracts signed are with firms Alvarez & Marsal, KPMG and Oliver Wyman.

by Georgi Azar -Source: Annahar

In this photo released by the Lebanese Government, Lebanon’s now-resigned Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni speaks during a press conference, at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, east of Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP)

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s caretaker finance minister Ghazi Wazni signed this week three contracts to conduct a forensic audit of the country’s finances, according to a statement released by his office

The contracts signed are with firms Alvarez & Marsal, KPMG and Oliver Wyman.

Prior to his government’s resignation, Wazni and fellow ministers had agreed to hire Alvarez & Marsal to conduct a forensic audit of the central bank, while KPMG and Oliver Wyman would conduct a financial audit.

A day earlier, Lebanon’s lead negotiator for the Eurobond debt restructuring and another key member of the now-resigned government with the International Monetary Fund had submitted his resignation.

Talal F. Salman was the third ministry official to quit as Lebanon’s grapples with its worst economic crisis in decades.

A Harvard graduate who had been both an advisor and member of the United Nations Development Program submitted his resignation similarly to Henri Chaoul and Alain Bifani.

Both Bifani and Chaoul blasted the government’s response to the crisis, accusing them of capitulating to the ruling political class’s unwillingness to implement radical reforms.

On Tuesday, French President called on Lebanese officials to steamroll reforms in exchange of a bailout.

“I’m here … to get results and bring about reforms,” he said Tuesday.

The next three months will be “fundamental” for real change to happen, and if it doesn’t, Macron said he would take a different tack, imposing punitive measures ranging from withholding a vital international financial bailout to imposing sanctions against the ruling class.

“It’s the last chance for this system,” he said.

— With AP.

 

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