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Lebanon’s PM Warns Situation ‘Very Delicate,’ Reform ‘Requires Time’

Lebanon’s PM Warns Situation ‘Very Delicate,’ Reform ‘Requires Time’

Tuesday, 17 September, 2019 - 05:45
Hariri during his speech at the Institut des Finances Basil Fuleihan. Dalati and Nohra
Beirut - Asharq Al-Awsat
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has described the country’s situation as “very delicate,” saying reform is a “continuous process” that requires political consensus.

Restoring the people’s confidence in the state “cannot be achieved without laying transparent foundations for our work,” said Hariri on Monday at the launching of the “Citizen Budget 2019” ceremony at the Institut des Finances Basil Fuleihan in Beirut.

“Over the last three years, we took important steps to regulate public finances, by approving three consecutive budgets after a 12-year hiatus. Just as approving the budget is essential, approving it within the constitutional deadlines is also important. This is what we will do this year,” he said.

“We are in a very delicate situation, and we cannot waste time,” said Hariri. “Everyone knows that we have to take difficult decisions in the coming period, as the Minister of Finance Ali Hassan Khalil stated.”

“The cost of reform and the cost of decisions to be made today is much lower than the cost of managing the crisis if it happens, especially if this crisis spirals out of control,” he warned.

Hariri said there was still time to address the country’s problems.

“The reform workshop is significant and important, and I am keen to have everyone involved, from the public sector in its various departments and institutions, the private sector and civil society, through a serious and constructive economic and social dialogue.”

“Reform does not take place overnight but is a continuous process that requires time, effort and political consensus,” he added.

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