Upon its 1943 independence, the people of Lebanon agreed to a power-sharing system among the three dominant religious groups — Christians, Sunni Muslim and Shia Muslim — for president, prime minister and speaker of parliament respectively.

Some of the main features of the Lebanese economic and political context today include government paralysis and unrelenting corruption, energy supply shortages, a burgeoning public sector wage bill, rising poverty levels and unsustainable government debt that ultimately triggered a financial crisis. On March 9, Lebanon failed to repay its debt obligation on a $1.2bn Eurobond — the country’s first sovereign credit default.

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now