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BDL denies Swiss report on 2016 IMF paper

Lebanon's Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh meets with the government's social and economic council in Beirut, September 27, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir/File Photo

BEIRUT: The Central Bank denied Friday a Swiss newspaper report that alleged the International Monetary Fund had removed information from a 2016 report on the country at the request of Gov. Riad Salameh.

Le Temps said in a report Thursday that in 2016, as Lebanon was headed toward financial ruin, 14 pages containing vital information were removed from an IMF assessment through the intervention of Salameh.

"This article and everything that was mentioned in it has nothing to do with the truth," the Central Bank said in a statement. "What was reported in Le Temps newspaper makes clear the article is not serious as it says the governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon personally omitted 14 pages from a report of an international and respectable organization like the IMF."

Lebanon is suffering what the World Bank has described as one of the deepest depressions in modern history. Its economic meltdown has thrown 75 percent of the population into poverty and the Lebanese pound currency has lost 90 percent of its value in the past two years.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati's newly formed Cabinet says it will resume negotiations with the IMF for a funding program soon.

 

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