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Lebanon Cabinet Approves First Budget Since 2005

  • Budget deficit forecast at $5.2 billion, or 9.54% of GDP
  • Parliament hasn’t approved a state budget in 12 years
President Michel Aoun heads the first Cabinet meeting, at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, east of Beirut, Lebanon, on Dec. 21, 2016.
Photographer: Dalati Nohra/Lebanese Government via AP

Lebanon’s cabinet approved the 2017 state budget, paving the way for a possible breakthrough in the decade-long impasse over the country’s finances.

The spending plan, approved late Monday, now goes for a vote in parliament, which hasn’t passed a budget since 2005. The budget deficit is forecast at $5.2 billion, or 9.54% of gross domestic product, on spending of $15.8 billion, according to the draft released last year.