Protests break out in Lebanon after local currency tumbles

Protests broke out in several Lebanese cities on Thursday after the country’s currency nosedived amid a lingering financial crisis, the National News Agency (NNA) reported.

At least four Lebanese cities, including the cities of Beirut, Tripoli, Tyre, and Baalbek, as well as the town of Marjeyoun, saw protests against the steep devaluation of the Lebanese pound, which has fallen to a record low against the dollar on Thursday and is now trading at 60,500 to the dollar, down from 53,700 on Tuesday.

Protesters blocked roads and set tires on fire in the capital city of Beirut and the southern city of Tyre, according to the report.

The protests on Thursday come a day after dozens of people gathered in front of Lebanon’s central bank to voice their dissatisfaction with circulars issued by the bank, which many Lebanese claim would lead to a loss of their savings.

Bassem El-Bawab, a business instructor at the American University of Beirut, told Xinhua that the Lebanese currency has lost around 97.5 percent of its value since the beginning of the country’s financial crisis in 2019, and the collapse is likely to continue due to a lack of confidence in the country’s economy and the great demand on U.S. dollar. ■

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