Lebanon's economy faces stark choice: Reform or collapse

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Lebanon's economy faces stark choice: Reform or collapse
Lebanese protesters chant slogans during a protest against corruption and criticizing long-serving politicians for failing to form a government, in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018. Lebanon is marking 75 years of independence with a military parade Thursday in Beirut, but many anxious Lebanese feel they have little to celebrate: the country's corruption-plagued economy is dangerously close to collapse and political bickering over shares in a new Cabinet is threatening to scuttle pledges worth $11 billion by international donors. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon is marking 75 years of independence with a military parade in Beirut, but many anxious Lebanese feel they have little to celebrate.

The country’s corruption-plagued economy is dangerously close to collapse and political bickering over shares in a new Cabinet is threatening to scuttle pledges worth billion by international donors.

The World Bank issued a stark warning last week, with one official saying that unless a government is formed soon to carry out badly needed reforms, “the Lebanon we know will fizzle away.”

It’s been more than six months since Lebanon held its first national elections in nine years — a vote in which the Shiite militant Hezbollah group and its allies made strong gains — but the prime minister-designate, Saad Hariri, still hasn’t formed a government.