Thursday, March 23, 2023

Protests in Beirut

 Lebanon is in the fourth year of a deep economic crisis, which experts say has its root in decades of corruption and mismanagement by a political class that has ruled the country since the end of the 1975-90 civil war. The crisis has led to school closures and left families unable to afford food and pay for fuel or other basic needs. Government-subsidised electricity, meanwhile, is mostly unavailable.

Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr said, “There is anger. People believe that the political and business elite do not want to solve the crisis because that will involve economic and structural reforms and fighting corruption. If the elite does that, they lose control over the state and its resource which they have been exploiting for years now.”

Patrick Mardini, director of the Lebanese Institute for Market Studies, said “the main reason behind the currency devaluation is the massive printing of Lebanese pound that is being pumped into the system. He told Al Jazeera that “at the beginning of the crisis, we had around four trillion Lebanese pounds in circulation; today we are at around 70 trillion”.

Mardini said the situation was compounded by a lack of confidence and trust in the Central Bank and the whole banking system, as a whole.

Lebanese take to streets as anger over economic meltdown grows | News | Al Jazeera

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