After decree on new cabinet, PM Mikati says hopes to stop Lebanon’s collapse

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Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati said on Friday he hoped to stop his country collapse and bring back prosperity.

In an emotional speech after signing a decree with President Michel Aoun to form the new cabinet, Mikati said the situation in the country was “difficult,” adding that there were no reserves left for subsidies and that everyone should “tighten belts.”

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Lebanon is in the throes of a deep economic meltdown that is threatening its stability. Its financial crisis has been dubbed by the World Bank as one of the deepest depressions of modern history.

The crisis has propelled 78 percent of the population into poverty and seen the local currency lose 90 percent of its value against the US dollar in the past two years.

Mikati’s cabinet will now be expected to begin necessary reforms and resume negotiations with the International Monetary Fund to unlock much needed foreign aid.

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