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Politicians in Lebanon take aim at three key sectors to reduce record deficit

The Lebanese government is discussing economic reforms aimed at reducing the country’s budget deficit, a key condition to receive billions of dollars worth of foreign investments.

Almost two months after forming a new Cabinet on Jan. 31, Lebanon’s government has begun to tackle its next challenge: passing vital economic reforms that aim to decrease the country’s budget deficit in order to unlock billions of dollars in pledged foreign investments and jumpstart economic growth.

While optimism among analysts about the implementation of these reforms remains generally low, Cabinet ministers claim there is a broad consensus across the government to cut costly electricity subsidies. According to officials from the Ministry of Energy and Water, a policy paper on the issue from the ministry is set to be released this week. Top politicians have also agreed that public pension reforms and measures to combat tax evasion will also be key points in negotiations that will take place over the coming weeks, and if passed, such measures are likely to have a significant impact on Lebanese public employees and consumers.

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