Lebanese protesters block roads over economic meltdown - GulfToday

Lebanese protesters block roads over economic meltdown


A protester passes burning tires in Beirut, Lebanon, on Monday. AP

Gulf Today Reporter

Demonstrators, some of them burning tyres, blocked roads across parts of Lebanon on Monday in protest at the country's economic meltdown, days after the Lebanese pound sank to new lows.

Lebanon's economic crisis, which erupted in 2019, has propelled more than three quarters of the population into poverty and the local currency has plummeted by over 90%.


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The Lebanese pound sank to more than 25,000 against the dollar last week, from a peg in 2019 of 1,500.

Lebanese demonstrators protest in front of the Electricite Du Liban company building in Sidon. AFP

Roads were blocked by burning tyres in central Beirut, Tripoli in northern Lebanon and the southern city of Sidon.

There has been little progress since Prime Minister Najib Mikati's government was appointed in September after more than a year of political deadlock that compounded the crisis.

Mikati's government has been in paralysis since a row over the lead investigator into a fatal explosion at Beirut port last year flared during a cabinet meeting on Oct. 12. The cabinet has not met since then.

Subsidies have been cut back on almost all goods including fuel and medicine, pushing up prices as basic services such as healthcare crumble.

Demonstrators block a road with burning tires in Beirut, Lebanon, on Monday. Reuters

The cabinet's main focus was on a revival of talks with the International Monetary Fund, needed to unlock foreign aid. But an agreement on vital financial figures, a requirement to start negotiations, has not been reached.

Earlier on Friday, a small group of protesters broke into a ministry building in Beirut and removed a photo of the president from one of its main rooms, as the Lebanese pound hit a new low amid a worsening economic and political stalemate.

The protesters who entered the Ministry of Social Affairs said conditions in crisis-hit Lebanon have become unbearable as a result of the rapid economic collapse and ongoing crash of the pound, which reached 25,100 to the dollar. The previous record was 25,000.


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