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Laila Bassam

UPDATE 1-Lebanese banks should play role in reducing deficit -finance minister

18 Apr 2019

* Finance minister signals moves to cut public-sector wage bill

Exclusive: Lebanese draft budget reduces deficit to below 9 pct of GDP-finance minister

17 Apr 2019

BEIRUT Lebanon's draft budget for 2019 projects a deficit of less than 9 percent of GDP compared to 11.2 percent in 2018 and includes "wide reductions" in spending based on the need for "exceptional austerity measures", the finance minister said on Wednesday.

Exclusive: Heavily indebted Lebanon promises quick reforms - draft policy statement

06 Feb 2019

BEIRUT Lebanon is committed to launching fast and effective reforms that could be "difficult and painful" to avoid a worsening of economic, financial and social conditions, according to a draft government policy statement seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

Building on Syria war gains, Hezbollah scores political win

01 Feb 2019

BEIRUT Hezbollah's bigger role in Lebanon's new unity government points to a growing appetite to shape state affairs and builds on unprecedented military clout the group is wielding after helping turn the tide in Syria's war.

Lebanon agrees new government, PM vows bold reforms

31 Jan 2019

BEIRUT Lebanon formed a new national unity government on Thursday, ending nine months of wrangling, and Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said bold moves were needed without delay to address chronic problems facing the heavily indebted state.

Hezbollah could 'for years' enter Israel, group's leader says after tunnels found

27 Jan 2019

BEIRUT Iran-backed Hezbollah has "for years" been able to enter Israel, the Lebanese group's leader said on Saturday, responding for the first time to Israel's discovery of tunnels dug into Israeli territory from Lebanon.

Lebanon preparing public debt reform plan, assures on Eurobonds: finance minister

10 Jan 2019

BEIRUT Lebanon is studying ways to manage its public debt and its structure as part of plans for public finance reform, the finance minister told Reuters on Thursday, after he was cited saying the plan included restructuring of public debt.

Health ministry pick to widen Hezbollah role in Lebanese state

20 Dec 2018

BEIRUT Hezbollah's role in the Lebanese government stands to widen when it names the new health minister though it will not be putting a party member in the job, sources say, as the United States extends sanctions against the Shi'ite Muslim movement.

Lebanon set to get new national unity government in days - politicians

18 Dec 2018

BEIRUT Lebanon is on track to form a new national unity government in the next few days, politicians said on Tuesday, raising hopes for an end to more than seven months of wrangling that has darkened the outlook for its struggling economy.

Lebanon closer to government as economic pressures loom

29 Oct 2018

BEIRUT Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri looked closer to forming a new national unity government as a major Christian party declared on Monday it would take part despite being offered an "unjust" share of cabinet seats.

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