Berri sees need for IMF technical help to draw up rescue plan

File photo of Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri , who also heads the Amal Movement a Shiite party that is aligned with the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group. Amal and Hezbollah form the so called Shiite duo and all the Shiite MPs are either Hezbollah or Amal members. The Speaker in Lebanon should be a Shiite . Berri 84, has been the speaker for 30 years and has nominated himself again after the May 15 parliament election . The anti -Hezbollah and Amal parliament candidates dropped out of the race over personal safety concerns after they were attacked by Amal and Hezbollah thugs.

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.