Protesters back on the streets of Beirut amid reports of major currency slide

Special Protesters back on the streets of Beirut amid reports of major currency slide
The Lebanese pound sank to a record low on the black market on June 11 despite the authorities' attempts to halt the plunge. (AFP)
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Updated 12 June 2020

Protesters back on the streets of Beirut amid reports of major currency slide

Protesters back on the streets of Beirut amid reports of major currency slide
  • Roads blocked and doors of Lebanon's Central Bank set on fire amid anger over latest financial blow
  • Demonstrators joined by supporters of Amal Movement and Hezbollah, who had previously been attacking them

BEIRUT: Protesters again took to the streets of Beirut on Thursday night, after it was reported on social media that the dollar exchange rate had plummeted to 7,000 Lebanese pounds from about 4,500 a day earlier.
This rate offered by dealers is almost five times the official exchange rate, which is pegged at 1507.5 pounds. However, the currency has lost more than 60 percent of its value since October amid the nation’s financial crisis and a wave of street protests sparked by the deteriorating financial situation and political corruption.
The protesters were joined by supporters of the Amal Movement and Hezbollah, who had previously been attacking them. The doors of the Central Bank on Hamra Street in Beirut were set on fire after demonstrators, chanting slogans denouncing banking policy, breached a security zone set up by the army and security forces. There were also attempts to storm the bank’s branches in a number of regions.
Elsewhere, roads were blocked in several areas, including a southern suburb of Beirut that is considered a Hezbollah stronghold.
Protesters also voiced their anger at rising levels of hunger caused by the financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, and called for national unity and the rejection of sectarianism.
Many demonstrators said they were hungry and could no longer afford to feed their children, as the value of their salaries had fallen below $50.