Economy, Middle East

Lebanon: Protesters force their way into central bank

Lebanese pound hits record low against US dollar, prompting protesters to take to the streets

Mahmut Geldi   | 12.06.2020
Lebanon: Protesters force their way into central bank Protesters block a street by setting trash bins on fire during a demonstration against depreciation in the value of the Lebanese pound against the dollar due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the Lebanese capital Beirut on June 11, 2020. ( Houssam Shbaro - Anadolu Agency )

BEIRUT

Demonstrators in Lebanon attempted to occupy the central bank in the capital Thursday after the country’s currency sank to a record low against the US dollar. 

As a result of the nation’s economic crisis, the dollar rose to 6,000 Lebanese pounds from 4,000 in the last two days, prompting protesters to take to the streets in Beirut and many other cities.

They blocked roads to traffic with garbage containers and burning tires.

Forcing their way into the central bank on Hamra Street, they had to withdraw when security forces intervened.

Security forces also responded to those who set fires in front of the government palace and damaged surrounding shops.

The Lebanese Red Cross said on Twitter that 33 people injured in the protests in the city of Tripoli were given first aid while eight others were taken to the hospital.

Currency protest in Lebanon

BEIRUT, LEBANON - JUNE 11: A man holds a dollar and Lebanese pounds as he poses for a photo during a protest against dire economic conditions and depreciation in the value of the Lebanese pound against the dollar due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the Lebanese capital Beirut on June 11, 2020. ( Houssam Shbaro - Anadolu Agency ) 

Lebanon is suffering from high unemployment, slow growth and one of the highest debt ratios in the world.

The novel coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the situation in the country, with the government extending measures to curb the spread of the virus.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Lebanon has risen to 1,402 with 31 deaths, while 845 patients have recovered so far.

*Writing by Sena Guler

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