BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanon’s next government needs ministers with practical experience in finance and other areas to restore confidence in the collapsing economy, the head of the banking association said after the latest bid to form a cabinet fell apart last week.
Banks have faced a crisis since last year after political unrest, slowing remittances and a foreign exchange liquidity crunch left the state struggling to finance a mountain of debt. Depositors have been frozen out of their dollar savings.
Adding to Lebanon’s woes, the government quit after a huge port blast on Aug. 4 that devastated a swathe of Beirut. Efforts to form a new cabinet of non-partisan, specialist ministers have stumbled amid sectarian politics.
“The most important step is to reestablish confidence,” Salim Sfeir, chairman of the Association of Banks in Lebanon (ABL), told Reuters on Tuesday at the headquarters of Bank of Beirut, which he also heads.