Lebanon, Beirut Blast, Lebanese Pound, 1975-1990 Civil War, Lebanon Currency Crisis, Tripoli Pound

Lebanon, Beirut Blast

Protesters block roads as Lebanon pound hits all-time low

Protesters block streets with burning tyres and dumpsters following the currency fall that traded at nearly 10,000 pounds to US dollar in black market.

3/3/2021 10:15:00 AM

Lebanese pound hits all-time low against the dollar, prompting new protests over a deepening economic crisis that has thrown more than half of the population into poverty

Protesters block streets with burning tyres and dumpsters following the currency fall that traded at nearly 10,000 pounds to US dollar in black market.

No functional governmentOn Monday, a central bank committee "agreed on a roadmap with deadlines for the Bank of Lebanon to take appropriate measures" if these requirements were not met, it said in a statement.Lebanon'sAl Akhbar 

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newspaper said on Tuesday that the currency plunge was partly the result of commercial banks sucking dollars out of the market to meet the capital demands of the central bank.The slide in the value of the pound has led to soaring food prices in a country where more than half of the population now lives below the poverty line.

Lebanon has been without a fully functioning government since outgoing premierHassan Diabresigned in the wake of a devastating explosion in Beirut port last year. The blast killed more than 200 people and piled new misery on a country already brought to its knees by the economic crisis. headtopics.com

In October, former prime ministerwas named to form a new Cabinet but nearly five months later, disagreements between him and President Michel Aoun on the shape of the Cabinet has stood in the way of a new government's formation.READ MORE: Minimum wage at around $67 a month

"They've driven us to begging, they're starving us," one protester said."We've been sitting at home for ages, then there was the port blast, and they haven't formed a government. We've had enough of this ruling class."

People are hungry, prices are flying and there is no electricity," tweeted Lebanese business writer Hala Saghbini. "We want a government immediately. Enough humiliation of the people."The crash in the local currency will throw more people into poverty. In Lebanon, the minimum wage is 675,000 pounds, or about $67 a month. Before the protests broke out in 2019, the minimum wage was about $450 per month.

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