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Ex-Lebanon politician: Only 6 people own the country’s wealth

A Lebanese woman stands next to her empty refrigerator in her apartment in the port city of Tripoli north of Beirut on June 17, 2020 [IBRAHIM CHALHOUB/AFP via Getty Images]
A Lebanese woman stands next to her empty refrigerator in her apartment in the port city of Tripoli north of Beirut on June 17, 2020 [IBRAHIM CHALHOUB/AFP via Getty Images]

Former Lebanese Member of Parliament Hasan Yaacoub said the country’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of just six people.

“Mr. Guterres says 26 people own half of the world’s wealth, and in Lebanon only six people own all of Lebanon and prevent financial audits which, if they took place, will reveal the theft that impoverished all the people,” Yaacoub wrote on Twitter.

 

Earlier this month, Yaacoub criticised the level of poverty among the Lebanese people “thanks to their officials with their policies and corruption”.

This comes as an official told the Financial Times that Lebanese banks had “smuggled” nearly $6 billion out of the country since October, despite financial restrictions imposed amid the country’s monetary crisis.

Lebanon’s currency, the lira, has lost more than 80 per cent of its value since anti-government protests started in October. Although officially pegged at 1,507.5 to $1, the lira is currently trading around 9,000 to $1 on the black market. Nevertheless, dollars, though highly sought after, are increasingly scarce.

The dearth of dollars, compounded by the rapid devaluation of the currency and informal banking restrictions, which limit the amounts depositors can withdraw on a weekly basis and ban most international transfers, have left citizens struggling to make ends meet, with the coronavirus further exacerbating the situation.

READ: Why more Lebanese women face period poverty?

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