Lebanon Blast Seen Adding Urgency to Talks With IMF, Lenders

As emergency services assess the toll from Tuesday’s deadly explosion in Beirut, one immediate consequence is becoming clear to analysts: it will ratchet up pressure on Prime Minister Hassan Diab to make meaningful progress in talks with international lenders and investors, Bloomberg News reported. For some observers, that means quickly addressing the internal divisions and foot-dragging that have stalled negotiations with the International Monetary Fund about a $10 billion loan program following the country’s March Eurobond default. But that assumes the government can even hold together, which is far from assured, some analysts say. As far as Lebanon’s immediate needs are concerned, Beirut’s governor estimates the cost of the damage to be between $3 billion to $5 billion. Read more

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