The Lebanese currency hit a new record, triggering protests of anger across the crisis-stricken country, with the biggest unrest since the start of the pandemic.
The pound has fallen 20 percent since the end of last year, hitting L £ 10,000 to the US dollar on the black market on Tuesday before falling back to around L £ 9,975. It is now about 85 percent below the country’s official exchange rate.
The currency collapse means a minimum wage of L £ 675,000 per month is now worth just $ 67.50, while devaluation has led to rampant inflation in the import-dependent country even as its economy shrinks eliminates jobs and workers. more typically experience pay cuts rather than increases.
Protesters burned dumpsters and blocked roads in the capital Beirut and cities in Lebanon on Tuesday, in a nationwide protest of frustration not seen since the mass anti-government protests that erupted in October 2019.
The coronavirus “has pushed people off the streets. . . but now there is a rebound, ”said Sami Nader, director of the Levant Institute for Strategic Affairs. “Because it has added to the prevailing frustration. . . and now they are more desperate.”
Plagued by allegations of official corruption and mismanagement, Lebanon was economically weak long before the Beirut port explosion on August 4 devastated the capital, killing more of 200 people.
The explosion brought down the government headed by Prime Minister Hassan Diab. But a prolonged political crisis has left …
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