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Gas “news” no saving grace for Turkish lira

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends a news conference in Budapest, Hungary, November 7, 2019. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

LONDON, June 4 (Reuters Breakingviews) - President Tayyip Erdogan is up to his old tricks. The Turkish leader is expected to announce “good news” about natural gas in the Black Sea read more , according to state media. Like last year, when Turkey said it had discovered 405 billion cubic metres of natural gas in the region’s Sakarya field, the lira is on the ropes. The hope is that gas discoveries will make Turkey less dependent on energy imports, boosting its currency.

There’s a simpler solution. Erdogan helped push the lira to record lows against the dollar this week by calling for more interest rate cuts, less than three months after firing a third central bank governor who didn’t play ball on monetary policy. In another blow, Russians and Brits are shunning Turkey’s beaches this summer due to the coronavirus. It’s high time for the self-styled enemy of interest rates to keep schtum. (By Dasha Afanasieva)

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