Conflicts & War

Roadblocks in Lebanon as protesters decry plunging currency

Beirut, Jan 25 (EFE).- The Lebanese pound fell to a record low on Wednesday, prompting fresh protests and roadblocks amid spiralling economic and financial crises.

The pound was trading at 56,000 to one US dollar on the black market for the first time since the economic crisis in Lebanon began in late 2019.

Several public roads were closed with burning tires and rubbish containers as protests entered their third day, while a large group of depositors rallied outside the Central Bank of Lebanon in Beirut, according to Lebanon’s state news agency NNA.

Last week, the Central Bank decided to further tighten withdrawal limits on foreign currency deposits, setting a rate of 15,000 Lebanese pounds per one US dollar.

The energy ministry, meanwhile, on Wednesday announced a sharp increase in the prices of 95 and 98 octane fuel and diesel, all of which are over 1 million pounds ($18) per 20 liters.

Lebanon has been grappling with a severe economic crisis for almost four years that has seen the local currency lose almost 95% of its value, pushing some 80% of the population below the poverty line.

The crisis is deepening as Lebanon’s parliament has repeatedly failed to elect a president after Michel Auon’s term ended in October.EFE


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