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Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri believes Lebanon needs technical help from the International Monetary Fund to draw up an economic rescue plan and a decision on whether to pay a Eurobond maturing in March should be taken based on IMF advice, an-Nahar newspaper and a government source said on Tuesday. 

Berri also believes Lebanon cannot “surrender” itself to the IMF “because of its “incapacity to bear its conditions,” said an-Nahar, quoting Berri’s visitors, and the government source, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity.

According to a copy of the government policy statement published by local media, it includes an “emergency rescue plan” and reforms in the judicial, financial and administrative fields, as well as fighting corruption and fixing the country’s finances.

Lebanon has one of the highest debt ratios in the world, standing at more than 150 of the GDP and worsening over the past years with no economic growth and high unemployment.

REUTERS/YL

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