Saudi Arabia could also withdraw $1 billion from the Central Bank, but economists say this would not make a big difference. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Lebanon's remittances and capital inflow could fall dramatically if some of the oil-rich Gulf states decide to expel a big number of Lebanese expatriates, economists warned Tuesday.However, Wazni did not believe that the GCC would expel all the Lebanese because it would be very difficult to find replacements for qualified employees.Wazni said that in the worst-case scenario, which is not very likely, the Gulf states could expel the 75,000 Shiites expatriates, and if this happens the economic ramifications would be terrible.He stressed that Saudi Arabia and the GCC states have no interest in destabilizing the situation in Lebanon, especially since most of the economic sectors are very close to the Gulf States.Economist Marwan Iskander warned that the expulsion of the Lebanese Shiites from the GCC could have counter-effects.According to Iskander, the immediate effects of the Saudi measures are psychological and not financial.
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