September 14, 2020, 08.16 PM

"Lebanon's political class has to provide what people demand and this is also what the international community expects. I'm talking about governance, not only economic reforms. There has to be a change in the way this place is governed," he said.

Lebanon's worst economic crunch since the 1975-1990 war has seen the local currency plummet against the US dollar and poverty double to more than half of the population.

Read also: Lebanon's PM Steps Down in Wake of Beirut Explosion and Public Fury

The government has blamed central bank governor Riad Salameh for the crisis, though he has rejected all charges.

Lenarcic said reaching an agreement with the IMF should also be an early priority for the next government.

The IMF said on Thursday it was ready to "redouble its efforts" to help Lebanon "overcome the social and economic crisis" once a new government was in place.

"The EU commission supports reaching an agreement with the IMF because that would unlock substantial resources that Lebanon desperately needs to revive its economy," Lenarcic said.

Read also: World Donors Demand Reforms Before Disbursing $300 Million in Humanitarian Aid to Lebanon

Referring to the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah, he said it was a "reality in Lebanon", adding that "we would like to see the entire Lebanese political class unite behind the task".

Hezbollah has long been targeted by US sanctions and blacklisted as a "terrorist" organization, but the Shiite group is also a powerful political player with seats in Lebanon's parliament

"We believe it should play its part in this effort," he said. 

(Writer: Bachir El Khoury)


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