Rumors that government subsidies on gasoline and diesel are to be removed has sparked panic buying across Lebanon, with lengthy queues forming at fuel stations. Fuel subsidies cost the central bank around $250mn a month according to Bloomberg, and this is increasingly unaffordable for Lebanon’s government as it struggles to cope with an economic meltdown.
Lebanon’s caretaker finance minister Ghazi Wazni warned the nation that it is on track to “run of money” before the end of this month as the central bank burns through $500mn per month of its increasingly-threadbare reserves on basic commodities purchased at preferential exchange rates. Imported fuel accounts for 50% of this. (CONTINUED - 370 WORDS)