Lebanon: Public sector salaries under threat over government impasse

Published August 4th, 2015 - 08:40 GMT

Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil warned on Monday that the government may be unable to pay the salaries of the government employees and civil servants by the end of September in light of the cabinet paralysis.

“Paying the wages of the public sector is starting to become a pressure card on the Finance Ministry. One of the ministries has started experiencing this pressure and may be unable to pay starting today,” warned Khalil in an interview to the As Safir daily.

He added that the issue will aggravate by the end of September.

“The state is facing financial entitlements worth $1.3 billion from now until the end of this year.

“It includes a payment of $500 million due on August 7 which represents IOUs (Eurobonds) that will be paid by the Central Bank of Lebanon,” he said.

“The Finance Ministry was initially able to find a legal cover for these Eurobonds through an issuance handled by the Ministry based on the opinion of the consulting body of legislation in the Ministry of Justice,” added Khalil.

“In any case the approval of the cabinet is needed in order to do the issuance and the replacement.”

The country has been without a budget for the past ten years and the cabinet has approved spending without approval from parliament.

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