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Lebanon on the brink: is there hope for change? | TV shows


Thursday, November 10 at 7:30 p.m. GMT:
For the first time, Lebanon finds itself without a president and without a fully functioning government. The office of the country’s leader, Michel Aoun, ended at the end of his term last month. He leaves behind a crumbling economy, a fractured parliament that can’t agree on a successor, and an interim cabinet that has only limited authority.

This unprecedented power vacuum is complicating efforts to deal with Lebanon’s financial crisis, which has impoverished 80% of its population and is now in its fourth year. There was brief hope for change in May, as the pro-Hezbollah political bloc lost its parliamentary majority and independent candidates inspired by the country’s protest movement in 2019 recorded big gains.

But as the political stalemate persists, many Lebanese activists have become discouraged. In September people started robbing banks to access their own money, so now the banks mostly remain closed. Regular power cuts, rampant inflation and a deadly cholera epidemic are motivating thousands of Lebanese citizens, as well as Syrian and Palestinian refugees, to leave the country and undertake perilous journeys to find asylum in Europe.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is in talks with Lebanese officials to provide a $3 billion line of credit, but the caretaker government has yet to fulfill any of the conditions attached to the loan. Lawyers say that until the government and the banking system are reformed, there is little hope for Lebanon.

In this episode of The Stream, we will discuss the political impasse, its impact on the economy and what is being done to get out of this emergency.

In this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Ali Ibrahim, @aliaibrahim74
Journalist and co-founder, Daraj Media

Habib Batah, @habib_b

Hussein Cheaito, @husseinch96
Development Economist, The Policy Initiative