Lebanon's IMF Rescue Plan Fails to Set Reform Roadmap

A recovery plan Lebanon is negotiating with the IMF expertly diagnoses the bankrupt state’s colossal losses but fails to commit to radical reform, the vital ingredient needed for a financial bailout of the country’s sinking economy, Reuters reported. The 53-page rescue plan, agreed by the government in April after months of haggling, is recognised by officials, economists and diplomats as the most searching examination of how Lebanon came to pile up debts several times the size of its economy. But sources familiar with the IMF talks say the plan fails to set out a clear roadmap of reforms for a patronage-ridden public sector, looted for decades by the sectarian power-brokers and former warlords who dominate Lebanon’s confessionally-based politics and have run its state onto the rocks. They believe the political elite will shy away from real reform as with four previous aid and soft-loan packages since Lebanon’s civil war - and that they are underestimating how hard the IMF will push for deep changes before agreeing to help. Read more