As economic situation in Lebanon worsens, electricity supply problems likely

The economic crisis in Lebanon is getting worse, and it should cause concern in Israel. The more the economic situation across the border gets worse, the greater the likelihood of destabilization of security as the quality of governance deteriorates

The lights in Lebanon may go off this month because the cash for generation of electricity is running out, the parliament said on Thursday. It comes as the country struggles with a deep economic crisis. According to a report by Reuters, the Lebanese parliament approved an emergency loan of $200 million to finance fuel imports for electricity generation in March, but the committee reviewing the loan has yet to approve it. 

"We should not forget that starting May 15, gradual darkness will start," said member of parliament Nazik Negm, according to the government statement that was released after he met the finance and energy ministers. For some time, the Lebanese have learned to live with regular power outages of at least three hours a day in the capital, and much longer ones in other areas because the country's power stations are not able to meet demand. Many people rely on private generators.   

 The financial crisis has worsened the country's problems because the government has difficulty finding enough foreign currency to pay for fuel and other basic imports. The loan approved by legislators in March is being reviewed by a constitutional committee to determine whether it is legal. The government resigned after the enormous explosion in Beirut in August, and it is now acting in a caretaker capacity until elections for the new government.    

"We hope that the constitutional committee does not take a month to reach its decision because the situation can't wait," said Negm according to the government statement. Lebanon generally stores enough fuel for about two months because it is too expensive to hold strategic reserves for a longer period.

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