Lebanon economy

In long-awaited step, Lebanon appoints board at state-owned electricity firm EDL

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The Lebanese government appointed a new board of directors at the state-owned electricity company on Tuesday, a ministerial source said, a long-delayed step that is one of a number of measures awaited by donor states demanding reforms.

Losses at Electricite du Liban (EDL), which have run at up to $2 billion a year, are a major strain on state finances.

Donor states want to see the sector fixed as part of reform efforts. Lebanon is in the throes of an acute financial crisis caused by decades of bad governance and corruption.

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Lebanon has come under increased pressure from the international community to carry out reforms that would curb decades of corruption, wasted public funds and irresponsible spending, which has led to more than $80 billion in public debt.

Last Friday, Lebanon's Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni said that talks with the International Monetary Fund are on hold until economic reforms begin and an agreement on the Lebanese side on a common approach for calculating losses, Reuters reported Wazni as telling the local al-Joumhuria. The state official said he will remain in contact with the IMF until negotiations resume.

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