Lebanese Finance Ministry official who was part of IMF negotiating team quits

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A Lebanese Finance Ministry official who was part of the team negotiating with the International Monetary Fund, Alain Bifani, has quit due to the way leaders are dealing with the economic crisis, local media Al Jadeed reported.

Bifani, the director general of Lebanon's Finance Ministry, told Al Jadeed that the path being taken by Lebanon is reckless and will hurt the people, Reuters reported.

Talks with the IMF which began in May have been bogged down by a row between the government and the central bank over the scale of losses in the financial system and how they should be shared. The country is currently going through an unprecedented financial crisis, and the local currency has lost around 80 percent of its value.

Bifani is the second official to quit recently, following Henri Chaoul, who resigned from his post saying he saw no will to reform.

Last week, IMF's Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said that discussions with the Lebanese side have so far not led to a breakthrough on an IMF financial assistance program.

“The core of the issue is whether there can be unity of purpose in the country that can then carry forward a set of very tough, but necessary measures,” Georgieva said.

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-With Reuters, AFP

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