France issues an ultimatum to Lebanon over reforms, sets deadline for implementation

pierre-duquesne aounPierre Duquesne, the French inter-ministerial delegate for the Mediterranean who is in charge of following up on the implementation of the resolutions of the CEDRE conference, has issued an ultimatum to Lebanon by setting a two-month deadline to launch a number of reforms demanded in CEDRE  , local media  reported

“Duquesne, who is in Beirut, told those he met yesterday that France and its allies are giving Lebanon a two-month deadline to implement what they recommend of preliminary reforms,” local media  quoted him as saying

The said reforms “are based on privatization ” the reports  added.

“Should Lebanon fail to commit itself, the pledges of the donor and lending countries will be in peril,” He warned

The French envoy reportedly  called for “slashing the budget deficit by 1% , devising a real and serious mechanism for combating tax evasion and corruption, seeking partnership contracts with the private sector and liberalizing the telecom sector.”

Duquesne is reportedly scheduled to hold a press conference on Friday afternoon.

Last April France hosted in Paris the international conference in support of Lebanon development and reforms, CEDRE (“Conférence économique pour le développement, par les réformes et avec les entreprises”).

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri along with a Lebanese ministerial delegation was present. Nearly 50 States and international organizations participated. Representatives from the private sector and civil society contributed to the work.

The objective of the CEDRE conference for the international community was to support the development and the strengthening of the Lebanese economy as part of a comprehensive plan for reform and for infrastructure investments as prepared by the Lebanese authorities and presented during the conference.

Nearly 11 billion was pledged  in loans and grants . Here was the breakdown

France: 400 million euros in soft loans + 150 million euros in grants = 550 million euros ($673 million)

Italy: 120 million euros ($147 million) from two credit lines

United Kingdom: 40 million pound grant ($56 million) + 20 million pounds ($28 million) contingent upon certain conditions

The Netherlands: 200 million euros ($245 million) in soft loans for four years, in addition to 100 million euros ($122 million) contingent upon conditions

Germany: 50 million euros ($61 million) in soft loans + possible further 10 million euros ($12 million)

Finland: 6 million euros ($7.37 million)

Japan: $10 million

Turkey: $200 million in soft loans

European Union: 150 million euros ($183 million), of which up to 50 million euros in grants over three years

United States: $115 million in grants

World Bank: $4 billion in softs loans

European Investment Bank: 800 million euros ($980 million) in soft loans

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development: 1.1 billion euros ($1.35 billion) in soft loans

Kuwait: $180 million in soft loans

Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development: $500 million in soft loans

Islamic Development Bank: $750 million in soft loans

Arab Fund: $500 million dollars and a possible further $500

Saudi Arabia: $1 billion line of credit reinstated

Qatar: $500 million in soft loans