Economic crisis in Lebanon: natural gas, Beirut should help

Lebanon looks for a way out of the crisis. In the sea gas was discovered, a new drilling ship is to lead the country out of the crisis. "in the Midst of the

Economic crisis in Lebanon: natural gas, Beirut should help

Lebanon looks for a way out of the crisis. In the sea gas was discovered, a new drilling ship is to lead the country out of the crisis.

"in the Midst of the darkness will open a great light, Luke," promises Premier Hassan Diab photo: Joseph Eid/afp

BEIRUT taz | On Twitter for the Lebanese Oil and Gasexpertin Laury Haytayan uploaded a Video: It shows you on a rubber boat in the Mediterranean sea in front of the Ölbohrschiff "Tungsten Explorer". Joyfully Haytayan rips your arms in the air and declared: "Finally, we are in the vicinity of the Erdbohrers. He really exists. We are here in Block 4, in Lebanon, in Beirut. We have spoken so long about it, finally he is here.“

Actually, there is currently no cause for joy. Lebanon is not only a political crisis, but also in the most severe economic crisis since the end of the civil war thirty years ago. Therefore, the state news channel the positive cue.

Solemnly President Michel Aoun, presented together with the head of government Hassan Diab last week, the oil and Gasbohrschiff in the Mediterranean sea, thirty miles off the Lebanese coast. "In the midst of the darkness will open today, a great light hatch, which promises to overcome the severe economic crisis," said the head of government. "It is a historic day that we start drilling in the sea, in order to transform Lebanon into an oil country."

The sovereign debt of Lebanon, amount to almost 80 billion euros, roughly 150 percent of gross domestic product. So he is one of the most indebted countries in the world. The state currency is losing value, and the Libanes*can withdraw only sporadically money, many shops have had to close, thousands of people were dismissed.

comes To the economic to the political crisis. On Monday, Diab said: "This state is able to protect the Lebanese." Then*gathered again, demonstrators in Beirut, not to block streets. For four months, you go against the corrupt government and mismanagement on the road. In October, the protests led to the resignation of Ex-Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Diab is since last month in office, but the people do not trust his Cabinet, which is closely tied in with the old Elite. "This government has lost the confidence of the people," was self-Diab on Monday.

you Can help the Oil and Gas Lebanon out of the crisis? "I am glad, because finally something is happening," explains Haytayan of the taz. She is an expert for the Oil and gas sector, and Director of the Institute for the control of natural resources (NRGI), which is advising the Lebanese government. "In 2013, we should have the first exploration, but at the time we had no government. Finally, the drilling vessel arrived. That could bring Lebanon to the right path, to be an Oil or gas producing country.“

President Aoun on Thursday to hopes at the beginning of the first exploration well on the Tungsten Explorer photo: Dalati Nohra/reuters

Haytayan, that Gas can be used for electricity production. In Lebanon, managed electricity outages of up to twelve hours on the agenda. In order to provide consistently current, there is a need, however, it is also a retrofit to the power plants, which can transform the Gas into electricity. However, for new infrastructure, the money is missing; the electricity sector has an annual deficit of more than 1.5 billion euros.

And not only in the electricity sector, it needs reforms. The note international donors, who had promised to 2018 grants with a total value of around 9 billion Euro, provided the government reforms its economy. Moreover, Lebanon's credit rating is questionable. On Monday, the repayment of Eurobonds in the value of 1.1 billion euros is due. The debt should not be repaid, it is difficult to get money from abroad. This is needed, because the country is dependent on imports of medicines, food and petrol.

"Without reform, the economy, Oil and Gas help nothing", there is Haytayan. In spite of her euphoria, she sees Oil and Gas as a panacea for the crisis. "It is unclear how the possible profits are to be used. In the case of the large-scale corruption in the country is the largest concern of the people, that politicians and their friends get the money in the hands and divide among themselves.“

Date Of Update: 05 March 2020, 09:00