Protesters enter Lebanese ministry amid deepening crisis

Beirut, Nov 26 (AP) Lebanon’s currency, the Lebanese pound, has hit new lows amid a deteriorating economy and political deadlock in Lebanon. Meanwhile, a small group of demonstrators broke into a ministry building in Beirut early Friday and removed a picture of the president from one of its main rooms.

About a dozen demonstrators who entered the social affairs ministry said the economy in the troubled country had worsened due to the continued fall in the pound, which fell to 25,100 pounds against the US dollar. The previous record was £25,000.

Prices have risen sharply in the country in recent weeks as the government lifted subsidies on fuel and some medicines, making these things out of reach for many in Lebanon.

Nearly three quarters of Lebanon’s population of six million, including 100,000 Syrian refugees, now live in poverty. The minimum monthly wage in the country is now about $27.

Protesters broke into the ministry’s meeting room and turned a photo of President Michel Aoun upside down before removing it.

They replaced the President’s picture with a banner in Arabic that read, “Revolutionaries of October 17.” The protesters were referring to the nationwide protests that began on October 17, 2019, against the country’s ruling class. .

“Those who stole public money can’t do reforms,” ​​one of the protesters shouted before leaving the building after police intervened.

The Corona virus and the port explosion of August 4, 2020 have deepened the crisis. The explosion killed 216 people and injured more than 6,000 and destroyed parts of the capital.

Lebanon’s diplomatic dispute with the oil-rich Gulf states has been sparked by comments by a cabinet minister. In other parts of the country, protesters put up posters outside some branches of local banks saying “Mafia Destroying the Lebanese Pound”.

AP Surbhi Netrapal



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