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Despite Prime Minister Tammam Salam's expressed optimism that Lebanon would soon have an approved state budget for the first time in more than a decade, there are at least three major obstacles that could torpedo the 2017 draft fiscal plan, ministerial sources said Friday. Although all ministers unanimously agreed during a Cabinet session this week on the importance of passing a state budget, viewed as crucial to tackling a crippling economic and financial crisis, the devil lies in details.Fneish pointed out that among the obstacles facing the state budget is insistence by some blocs on linking its approval to closing previous accounts and including the STL's funding into the budget.Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas warned of dire consequences for the country's economy if the 2017 state budget was not approved."If the state budget is not approved, a number of ministers will protest and exert pressure to ensure its approval because the country cannot continue without a budget," Derbas told The Daily Star. He said he would be one of the ministers who will press for the budget's approval.
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