Lebanon Calls on Citizens abroad to Help Bring down Public Debt
The Lebanese government called on Lebanese around the world to help it tackle public debt at home by buying non-interest-bearing treasury bonds.
Finance minister, Georges Corm, explained at a news conference that these bonds, worth 25,000 dollars each, would be repayable in five years and that the object of the operation was to "allow émigrés to contribute to easing public debt".
He added that the "servicing of public debt takes up around 50 percent of state spending and accounts for 80 percent of its income."
According to official figures, Lebanon's public debt stands at about 22 billion dollars.
The secretary general of the ministry for émigrés, Haitham Jomaa, said at the news conference that "several émigrés have expressed interest in the issue."
The Lebanese diaspora accounts for some four million people, living mainly in Latin America, Africa and Europe - BEIRUT (AFP)
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