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Dollar rise sparks protests in Lebanon (+Photo)

Beirut, Jan 21 (Prensa Latina) The exchange rate of the US dollar in the Lebanese informal market (above 50,000 Lebanese pounds), is generating discomfort among the population due to the deterioration of the economy and life situation.

Citizens blocked roads in different cities in Lebanon demanding a quick solution to the problems caused by the devaluation of national currency, the high value of the dollar, the increase in fuel prices and the decrease in purchasing power.

In the Plaza de los Martyrs in the town of Saida and on the Abra highway, the demonstrators denounced the worsening of the economic crisis and condemned the speculation in the exchange rate of the pound against the dollar.

According to the National News Agency, the protesters also closed the road in the Al-Najasa neighborhood in Saida and set garbage containers on fire.

Moreover, dozens of van owners stopped the crossing at the Chtoura square, in the north of Bekaa, in rejection of rising inflation and economic and social complexities. Other blockades occurred in towns surrounding Akkar and on key avenues in the capital.

In this context, economist Sami Nader described as dangerous the increase in the price of the dollar without a control reform in addition to the impact of the current political conflict and the composition of the interim government with limited constitutional powers.

The expert told the Al-Diyar newspaper that the pound lost 93 percent of its value and the reduction in people’s purchasing power will have a negative repercussion on the payment of their loans. He also pointed out that the Central Bank no longer has the mandatory reserve capable of stopping the dollar, in addition to the fact that foreign currency does not enter Lebanese markets.

According to United Nations entities, over two million people in Lebanon require urgent assistance as a result of the depreciation of the currency, the lifting of subsidies and the increase in the cost of living that prevent families from accessing enough food and other basic needs.


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