Evolution of public debt
At the end of September 2015, Lebanon’s public debt stood at roughly LBP 104,000 billion (USD 69 billion), up from LBP 6100 billion in 1993. The rise in public debt has also raised the cost of debt servicing, i. e. interest payments from LBP 325 billion in 1993 to LBP 6603 billion in 2014. While the public debt has increased by 1475%, the interest has grown by 1930% as illustrated in Table 1. Therefore we observe that the interest paid is almost equal to the worth of the public debt in its initial years, meaning that the interest on debt has gradually accrued and actually contributed to enlarging the public debt. Had the small public debt been appropriately addressed in 1993, we probably would not have arrived at the financial disaster we are facing today.
شاهد الجدول كاملا
In addition to the public debt contracted by means of treasury bonds in Lebanese pounds or foreign currencies, there are other debts that are not calculated within the public debt and comprise of long-term loans (20-25 years) obtained at low interest rates by the Council for Development and Reconstruction from international institutions to finance reconstruction projects. These loans amount to roughly USD 7 billion.
Furthermore, the state also fails to count the dues it owes to contractors, hospitals, free private schools or the National Social Security Fund, which, although accurate data is lacking, are estimated at the very least between USD 2 billion and USD 3 billion.
Therefore, the debts accruing on the Lebanese state would total roughly USD 80 billion.