Lebanon: We won't pay $1.2bn debt, we must provide basic commodities to peopleChristian Fernsby ▼ | March 7, 2020
Lebanon decided not to repay a $1.2 billion Eurobond due Monday.
Living in the Middle East Prime Minister Hassan Diab
Topics: Lebanon debt
Foreign currency reserves have fallen to "a worrying and dangerous level which pushes the Lebanese government to suspend payment of the March 9 Eurobond maturity because of a need for these funds," Mr Diab said in an address to the nation following a cabinet meeting on Saturday.
“The decision to suspend payment is the only way to stop the attrition and protect our national interests, while at the same time launching a comprehensive reform programme."
Mr Diab said Lebanon's debt reached $90bn, or 170 per cent of GDP, making it one of the highest in the world. He added that the total debt and interest Lebanon had to pay back in 2020 stood at $4.6bn
He Lebanon's debt was "greater than the country can handle” in the current circumstances and the country would strive to restructure its debt through negotiations with bondholders. ■