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Public transport drivers block roads in Lebanon to protest economic hardship

Public transport drivers block roads in Lebanon to protest economic hardship

DPA
Beirut
Public transport drivers closed major roads across Lebanon on Thursday to protest a deteriorating financial and economic situation that is crippling the country.
Major roads were blocked by drivers who used their buses and taxis to close major roads in the capital and all across the country, paralysing business. Shops, banks and businesses were closed across the capital and streets were deserted. The land transport federations and unions vowed an escalation of the protest.
“We cannot take it any more. Our children are hungry and no one is looking to find a solution,” a taxi driver said. “We are living in hell and dying slowly,” a second taxi driver said. Lebanese army soldiers were seen deploying to try to open major roads across the capital.  Some protesters were also calling on people via social media to leave their homes and take to the streets to join the protest. Late on Wednesday, some protesters demonstrated in front of the central bank, but were dispersed by riot police.    The Lebanese pound traded this week at 33,000 against the dollar on the black market. It was a new low since 2019, when demonstrators took to the streets to protest against a corrupt ruling class in the country.  The Lebanese pound has lost more than 90 per cent of its value since 2019, and, according to a UN report, more than 70 per cent of Lebanon’s 6 million people now live below the poverty line.The current economic crisis is Lebanon’s worst since its 15-year civil war, which ended in 1990.

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