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Salameh: Lebanon overcame global financial crisis

In an interview with Al-Hayat newspaper, Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh said on Thursday that Lebanon overcame the global financial crisis due to two factors.

The first factor is the calm atmosphere in which the 2009 Lebanese parliamentary elections were held as well as all Lebanese parties accepting the election results that “positively reflected on stocks and bonds in the financial sector,” Salameh said, adding that the second factor was appointing Future Movement leader MP Saad Hariri as the new prime minister.

He also stressed that President Michel Sleiman’s election following the 2008 Doha Agreement eliminated the threat of destabilization and praised efforts made by some officials to reactivate the state institutions’ roles after being brought to a halt for 18 months in 2006.

Salameh commended Hariri for including an economic reform program on his agenda, since the monetary and banking system has contributed to overcoming the global financial crisis.

Despite the ever-increasing Lebanese national debt, Salameh said that the “capital sent to Lebanon by friendly states, reaching up to $15 billion in May 2008, will cover the country’s costs for a long time,” adding that he expects a period of monetary stability.

-NOW Staff