Dozens of angry Lebanese took to the streets to denounce the devaluation of the pound sterling and the “difficult living conditions”.
Several protesters were injured in a demonstration in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on Saturday as the government decided to further reduce the value of the plummeting currency, which led to escalation of tensions.
Since 1997, the British pound has been pegged to the U.S. dollar at an exchange rate of 1,507, but the country’s The worst economic crisis in decades It has seen its unofficial value plummet.
On Saturday, money changers told AFP that the U.S. dollar was trading at 17,300-17,500 against the U.S. dollar on the black market, while some social media users said it had fallen to a low of 18,000.
According to the National News Agency (NNA), dozens of angry Lebanese took to the streets of Tripoli to denounce devaluation and “difficult living conditions.”
The agency added that some protesters managed to break through the door of the central bank branch and entered the courtyard, but the army prevented them from entering the building.
Local media reported that five protesters and two Lebanese soldiers were injured in the clashes.
A reporter from Agence France-Presse said that the demonstrators also set fire to the entrance of the government office.
Someone saw others trying to forcibly break into the homes of two politicians, but they were stopped by security forces.
According to NNA, in the southern city of Sidon, protesters tried to attack another branch of the Central Bank but were repelled by security forces.
According to AFP report, sporadic protests also took place in the capital Beirut. A few protesters took to the streets and burned tires.
Lebanon has been plagued by an economic crisis since 2019, which the World Bank said may be one of the worst financial crises in the world since the mid-19th century.
The collapse triggered the anger of the Lebanese political class, who were seen as severely corrupt and unable to solve many of the country’s difficulties.
The dazzling depreciation of the pound comes as the eastern Mediterranean country is struggling to solve the shortage of medicines and fuel imported in foreign currencies.
Since the massive explosion in Beirut last year that killed more than 200 people and destroyed large areas of the capital, the country has not had a fully functioning government.
After the disaster, the government stepped down, but the severely divided political class failed to reach an agreement on a new cabinet.
The country’s caretaker government said on Friday that it is reducing Much-needed fuel subsidies, Causing people to worry that this move will cause the price of basic consumer goods to rise sharply.