İrem UZUN -TDO- According to the Al Jazeera news, angry Lebanese protesters blocked roads across the country with burning tyres, debris and their vehicles, incensed over the local currency's depreciation by more than 25 percent in just two days. Currently, Lebanon is in the grip of its worst economic turmoil in decades and holding talks with the International Monetary Fund to secure billions in aid.
Protesters set ablaze a branch of the Central Bank, vandalised several private banks and clashed with security forces in several areas. At least 41 people were injured in Tripoli alone, according to the Lebanese Red Cross. "I'm really pissed off, that's all. If politicians think they can burn our hearts like this the fire is going to reach them too," unemployed computer engineer Ali Qassem, 26, told Al Jazeera after pouring fuel onto smouldering tyres on a main Beirut thoroughfare. Tens of thousands of Lebanese have lost jobs in the past six months and hundreds of businesses have shuttered as a dollar shortage led the Lebanese pound to lost its value regarding to US dollar last month.
Food prices have soared amid mass layoffs and business closures in recent months. The World Bank has projected that Lebanon's poverty rate will stand at nearly 50% in 2020. Lebanon's current government, led by Prime Minister Hassan Diab, has been in power for just over 100 days. Protesters accuse it of having done little to alleviate economic problems. Prime Minister Hassan Diab canceled his meetings and called for an emergency session to discuss the financial crisis, while the Central Bank's governor urged foreign exchange bureaus to stick to the rate he had ordered.