Lebanese finance official in IMF talks resigns post

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BEIRUT (Reuters) – A senior member of Lebanon’s negotiating team with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has quit his post as finance ministry director general, telling al-Jadeed TV he had resigned over the way leaders are handling a financial crisis. Alain Bifani is the second member of Lebanon’s team at the IMF talks to resign this month. The finance ministry confirmed his resignation in a statement. Bifani told al-Jadeed the path being taken by Lebanese leaders was reckless and would hurt the people. Reuters could not immediately reach him for comment. Lebanon is grappling with a financial crisis seen as the biggest threat to its stability since the 1975-90 civil war. Talks with the IMF which began in May have been bogged down by a row between the government and the central bank over the scale of losses in the financial system and how they should be shared. Bifani told al-Jadeed that “our approach and our numbers are correct”, in an apparent reference to a government financial recovery plan submitted to the IMF. The IMF has said the government’s figures appear to be roughly the correct order of magnitude but that Beirut needed to reach a common …

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