Central Bank governor Riad Salameh speaks in Beirut, Friday, July 31, 2015. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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In the turmoil that has beset Lebanon throughout its recent history, there has been one constant: Riad Salame has served as governor of the Banque du Liban, the central bank, since 1993, when the country was still reeling from its 15-year civil war.US lawmakers are preparing fresh sanctions on Hizbollah, which pose a threat to Lebanon's banks and to its economic stability.The 67-year-old Mr Salame, recently reappointed for a fifth consecutive six-year term, has a record of maintaining calm in a storm.For much of his tenure, parts of Lebanon's government have been suspended or inactive, and Banque du Liban has operated beyond the scope of most central banks.Lebanon's civil war ended 27 years ago but the country has not been stable in political or security terms since then. Mr Salame said the war in neighbouring Syria had cost the Lebanese economy $14bn since it started in 2011 . According to the International Monetary Fund, Lebanon's economy grew at an average annual rate of 9.2 per cent in the four years before the conflict.
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