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Sunday, 16 January 2022

Lebanese demonstrators burn tires and block roads in protest at economic crisis

Lebanese demonstrators burn tires and block roads in protest at economic crisis
Burning tires/Pixabay

The Asharq Al-Awsat reported that demonstrators, some of them burning tires, blocked roads across parts of Lebanon on Monday in protest at the country's economic meltdown and the increase in prices of consumer goods, days after the Lebanese pound sank to new lows.

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

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%.

Lebanon streets Lebanon streets

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

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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.

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

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.

Source: aawsat