By Joshua Manning • 07 April 2022 • 17:52
Lebanon counts its gold assets as part of bail-out scheme Credit: Wikimedia
Following the Lebanese government’s announcement of bankruptcy earlier this week, Lebanon’s central bank is counting its assets as part of a bail-out scheme after receiving pressure from the international community. According to two senior civil servants who spoke with The National, only 20% of the lengthly task has been carried out in the past two years. This is partly due to Covid, with Banque du Liban employees pausing the laborious task for months.
The 12-kilo gold ingots, located in the bank’s vaults, are placed on a scale one-by-one to accurately measure their worth. Estimates vary but there are currently believed to be a total of 13,000 bars. “It’s a very physical job,” stated one of the sources. Civil servants have still not begun counting the coins held by the bank, which are estimated to be around 700,000.
The economic collapse has thrown more than 75 percent of the country’s population into poverty with the Lebanese lira losing more than 90 percent of its value. Political leaders of Lebanon have not been able to address the whys of the country’s economic collapse, which began in 2019, but several European countries have filed investigations due to suspicions of money laundry against Lebanon’s Central Bank Governor, Riad Salameh.
Salameh claims he is a scapegoat and has denied these accusations.
MP Fouad Makhzoumi, who will be running for parliament in the elections next month said that he believed a full inventory of Lebanon’s central bank’s gold was vital because he did not trust the BDL or the political interests that protect it, in a statement given to The National.
“As a citizen of Lebanon, I need to know what’s happening,” he said.
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Originally from the UK, Joshua is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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