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Lebanon: Protests against lifting of subsidies

October 15, 2020 at 2:00 am

People take part in a demonstration to protest the political party’s efforts to form the Government at Martyrs’ Square in Beirut, Lebanon on 1 September 2020 [Houssam Shbaro – Anadolu Agency]

Lebanese citizens and trade unions staged sit-ins in various regions of the country on Wednesday against the lifting of subsidies and the deterioration of economic and living conditions.

The sit-ins took place in response to a call made by the General Confederation of Lebanese Workers (CGTL) “to participate in the day of anger” on Wednesday, to expresses their refusal of lifting subsidies, amid tight security measures.

Workers in the Port of Tripoli arranged a sit-in in front of the union’s headquarters in protest against the deterioration of economic and living conditions through the lifting of subsidies on basic materials, especially fuel, medicines and wheat.

Workers and drivers of the public sector, as well as representatives of the land transport sectors and their union, blocked the Tripoli-Beirut road in both directions. On Wednesday morning, members of the Mount Lebanon Road Transport Union along with bus drivers closed the international road at the crossroads of the town of Aley, and parked the buses in the middle of the road.

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A number of demonstrators protested against the lift of fuel subsidies in front of the Bank of Lebanon and the American University Hospital (AUH) in the capital of Beirut, in response to the CGTL’s call.

In Sidon and south of Lebanon, drivers of public vehicles and minibuses organised a sit-in in Nejmeh Square and placed signs on their vehicles demanding exemption from mechanic fees, indicating that they are struggling due to dire economic conditions and the increase in prices of car parts and daily necessities.

Lebanese citizens have been circulating information about the possibility of lifting subsidies on basic materials such as wheat, fuel and medicines, after the foreign currency assets of the Lebanon Central Bank reached critical levels.