Lebanon protests record low local currency
Protesters burn car tires and hold up stacks of local currency notes Wednesday at the entrance to the Lebanese Central Bank in Beirut. Anger over the devaluation of the lira
Lebanon’s economic collapse that began in 2019 cost the lira about 97% of its total value. The decline was particularly severe in January, dropping from 42,000 Lebanese lira per dollar to a new low of 56,000 this week.
That led to demonstrations and brief road closures. in Beirut this week And a few dozen protesters gathered outside the central bank on Wednesday.
“I used to spend this 16,000 Lebanese liras to buy a kilo of meat for me and my children, now 250 grams costs 100,000. one said
Another man took out a dollar as protesters threw stones at the central bank.
since the crisis began Lebanese banks strictly limit the withdrawal of dollars and lira. Also known as the Lebanese pound. This is a measure that has never been officially made into law. But it is regulated by a circular issued by the Central Bank of Lebanon.
“Perhaps the central bank governor will feel some sympathy and break this foolish cycle of costing depositors. It is a masked haircut and at the same time systematically steals money from depositors,” said Saeed Suweihi, a member of the Depositors’ Support Group, which organized the protest.
Petrol prices also soared on Wednesday to more than a million Lebanese pounds for a 20-liter barrel, unaffordable for those earning in local currency.
Lebanon’s central bank governor Riad Salameh in November said the official exchange rate, which remained unchanged at £1,507 despite being outdated – will change on February 1 to 15,000 – once officially revalued. First time in 25 years