Lebanon’s economy minister says country is a ‘failed state’

A boy (C) wearing military-style camouflage khakis waves two Lebanese national flags at an anti-government protest called by member of Parliament Chamel Roukoz, the son-in-law of Lebanese President Michel Aoun, at Martyrs' Square in Beirut, Lebanon, 17 July 2020. Hundreds of protesters once again gathered at the downtown Beirut square to demand a transitional government as Lebanon grapples with its worst economic crisis in decades. EPA-EFE/WAEL HAMZEH

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The economic crisis in Lebanon has turned the country into a “failed state” but there “is light at the end of the tunnel”, according to the country’s economy minister.

Speaking to Sky News, Raoul Nehme said he was 100% confident an international bailout will soon be agreed.

“We are living through a storm, a crisis that is in my opinion unseen worldwide,” Mr Nehme said.

“We are already probably above the 50% poverty line. Above the 50% poverty line, we need to do a lot to help the people to live.”

Asked whether it is fair to describe the country as a failed state, he said: “Of course it is a failed state in the sense that the economic crisis is such that everything has collapsed basically. Now the government is doing, in my opinion, everything that is needed to get out of this crisis.”

Mr Nehme was appointed five months ago as part of a government of technocrats brought in to try to turn the economy around.

Families across the social spectrum in Lebanon have seen savings disappear, jobs lost and homes taken away from them.

Electricity in the capital, Beirut, has been cut to just two or three hours in every 24.

The government has been engaged in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for several months but no bailout has yet been agreed.

Read more via Sky News

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