Violent protests in Lebanon over plummeting currency

Lebanese protesters
Lebanese protesters chant against the government and political elite for the country’s economic downfall in a southern suburban on June 11, 2020

LEBANON: On Thursday, anti-government protesters raged in the streets of many Lebanese urban centers over the country’s plummeting currency. The protests in Lebanon were violent with many burning barricades and causing road closures.

In the capital city Beirut,the violent protests included people throwing stones at the military and some attempting to climb a security fence protecting the Prime Minister’s office. Many of the protesters hold the country’s political elite responsible for the economic downfall and chanted against them.Also Read- Putin’s disinfectant tunnel installed in the Kremlin

Protesters burned tires in the north and south side of the capital causing a closure of Lebanon’s main coastal highway. These areas hardly see demonstrations as they are Hezbollah strongholds.

The downfall of Lebanon’s currency has caused panic and protests

Lately, Lebanon’s currency has lost more than 70% of its value since October. The downfall has caused panic in the country as it relies heavily on imports for basic necessities.

Lebanon protest
Riot police try to contain the protests in downtown Beirut, Lebanon on June 11,2020

In addition, food prices have heavily increased and many businesses have shut down in the previous months. According to a projection by the World Bank, Lebanon will see a poverty rate of almost 50% in 2020.

Protesters accuse the government who has been in power for just 100 days,  headed by Prime Minister Hassan Diab, for the crisis.

Protesters are outraged at the government for doing little in alleviating the problem. In October 2019, nationwide demonstrations took place against corruption which resulted in a removal of the then government led by Prime Minister Saad Hariri. 

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Currently, the government is led by Prime Minister Hassan Diab who was previously a professor at the American University. He was appointed to the position by a Hezbollah-backed coalition. Critics say the government has yielded little to no results and failed to improve living conditions and crack down against corruption.

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