BEIRUT (CNN) — Israeli bombing in Lebanon during the past week has crippled the country’s economy, reversing what had promised to be a boom year, the nation’s finance minister said Thursday.
Jihad Azour told CNN that the Israelis’ response to the abduction eight days ago by Hezbollah of two Israeli soldiers and the killing of three others has been disproportionate.
“Lebanon is now being destroyed,” he said of the country of 3.9 million people. “There’s 250 killed people, more than 1,000 injured people, 500,000 people on the street. I think it is unbalanced what happened and the reaction.”
Despite the fact that “the whole country is under stress,” Lebanon remains open for business, he said.
“There is still working, even government agencies are operating. We are able to operate the Ministry of Finance, provide support to all government agencies in charge of relief as well as other ministries. The banking system is working, Central Bank is working and financial situation is stable.”