French Envoy Presses for CEDRE Reforms During Lebanon Visit

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French Envoy Presses for CEDRE Reforms During Lebanon Visit

French envoy tasked with following up on the implementation of the reforms linked to the CEDRE conference, Michel Duquesne, said on Friday that no deadline has been set for Lebanon to fulfill the reformist measures required by the donor countries, noting, however, that the Lebanese government doesn't have much time to start showing concrete results.

"Donors have not given an ultimatum and the funds are still there although some countries have expressed skepticism more than others," Duquesne stressed in a news conference at the end of his three-day visit during which he met top Lebanese officials.

"The Lebanese government does not have the luxury of time."

Donor countries pledged around $11 billion at the CEDRE conference which took place in Paris last year. The grants and soft loans, which are aimed at funding investment and infrastructure projects in Lebanon, will only be disbursed once the Lebanese government implements a series of reforms.

The French envoy said he concluded from his meetings that Lebanon is ready to start implementing reforms, noting that these measures must be enforced as soon as possible.

Duquesne stressed the need for Lebanon’s government to reduce the deficit-to-GDP ratio by at least one percentage point per year, noting that the budget deficit must also be brought down while making sure not to break the economy.

He also pointed out that Lebanon's chronic electricity problem must be addressed, saying that it would be difficult to boost investments and achieve development without a 24/7 power supply.