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Lebanese security forces during anti-government protests in Beirut Lebanese security forces during anti-government protests in Beirut  (AFP or licensors)

Lebanese demonstrate economic hardships

Clashes have erupted between the army and demonstrators during a second day of protests across Lebanon.

By Nathan Morley

Lebanon is suffering from record high unemployment levels, sluggish growth and one of the highest debt ratios anywhere in the Middle East.

Now, with the currency in freefall and the population feeling increasingly squeezed financially, people have made themselves heard.

On Friday, police – who used tear gas and rubber bullets - confirmed 10 people were injured as demonstrations hit the streets.

Protestors accuse the government of failing to find a way out of the economic hardship.

The Lebanese pound has lost 70 percent of its value since October when protests first began. Now, the government is preparing to meet officials from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to try and securing financing to put the country's economy back on track.

The situation is also compounding matters over the border in Syria, where President Bashar al Assad dismissed Prime Minister Imad Khamis, after protests decrying worsening economic hardships.

Assad blames Western sanctions for widespread hardship among ordinary residents, where the currency collapse has led to rising prices and people struggling to make ends meet.

Listen to the report by Nathan Morley

 

13 June 2020, 12:59