Lebanon: Berri’s initiative falters, protests renewed over the deteriorating economic conditions


Beirut: «The Gulf»

Yesterday, Friday, all the positive atmosphere that prevailed in the past few days evaporated about the possibility of the success of the initiative of Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, in resolving the crisis of government formation that has been pending for nearly 8 months, due to the mutual conditions. President Michel Aoun, the international community and the United Nations are working to return the displaced Syrians to their country, while the Central Bank of Lebanon gave approvals to unload seven oil ships, while the caretaker Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, said that the victims of the port explosion would not rest in their lofts unless the truth was revealed and agreed to make August 4/ August is a national mourning day, while the phenomenon of road blocking has returned with force in protest against the deteriorating economic and living conditions, the rise in the price of the dollar and the exacerbation of social crises, in addition to the continuation of the strike of public administration employees and pharmacy owners.

Return of the displaced

During his meeting with the Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Program, Maimouna Muhammad Sharif, Aoun stressed that it is impossible to continue receiving the huge number of displaced Syrians, and the international community and the United Nations must work to return them to their villages in Syria, which have become safe. .

For his part, Diab addressed the delegation of the families of the port victims after his meeting with them yesterday, saying: “I admit that corruption defeated me because I was almost alone in this confrontation, so we need to unite all of us until we defeat it.” Diab gave his exceptional approval to a draft decree establishing August 4 as a day of national mourning.

On the other hand, the head of the Association of Oil Companies, Oscar Yammine, announced that “the Banque du Liban has given approvals to unload 7 oil vessels,” noting that the unloading process began on Thursday. Yammine stressed that the process of unloading the ships “will continue until the end of next week, in quantities that are sufficient for the market for about two weeks,” adding: “There is no need to panic and to market incorrect news.”

Protests and sit-ins

In the meantime, protesters cut off traffic on the Corniche Corniche in Beirut in both directions in protest against the deteriorating economic and living conditions and the rise in the price of the US dollar, which touched 15,000 Lebanese pounds, as well as blocking the Masnaa-Rashaya road at the junction of Azza town in the central Bekaa with containers and stones. Taalbaya highway in both directions and Al-Nour Square in Tripoli, after protesters had previously cut off the Ring Bridge in central Beirut, the Minieh Tripoli Highway in Arman locality, the Jiyeh Highway to the south with burning tires, and the western lane of the Jbeil Highway to the north with burning tires. At the invitation of the “White Shirts” organization, a number of doctors, pharmacists, dentists, nurses, and laboratory workers protested in front of the Ministry of Health in Bir Hassan, to protest the interruption of medicines and infant formula. For the second day in a row, employees of official departments committed to a comprehensive strike based on the decision of the Public Sector Employees Association, in protest against the low purchasing value of salaries and the deteriorating economic and living conditions, while violations were recorded in some departments to facilitate the transactions of citizens. Yesterday, pharmacies adhered to the strike decision called by the gathering of pharmacists to protest the state of medicine, and to utter a cry that health security has become seriously threatened. Most pharmacies in various governorates closed their doors, but a small number violated this closure.


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