Lebanon’s parliament approves country’s first budget since 2005

 

Lebanon’s parliament has approved the first state budget in 12 years, a vital step towards reforming the fragile economy and preventing rising debt spinning out of control. Successive governments have failed to pass annual budgets due to a string of political crises since the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri.

A main obstacle to passing the 2017 and previous budgets has been demands from some politicians that an audit of extra-budgetary spending from previous years be carried out. But the parliament approved a law allowing the budget to be passed before such an audit is completed and giving the minister of finance up to a year to carry it out.