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(en) ait russia: KRAS - AIT, Lebanon: protesters storm banks [machine translation]

Date Sun, 26 Jan 2020 13:27:18 +0200

For some, a "week of anger" began in Lebanon, for others it was the "Tuesday of anger." In the Hamra district of Beirut, numerous bank branches were attacked Tuesday night in clashes between protesters and police. ---- The main objective was the Lebanese Central Bank, which had been hermetically sealed by security forces. During hours of street fighting, protesters destroyed windows, doors and ATMs, using stones and iron bars. The walls of the banks were full of slogans like "People want to overthrow the banks." ---- Communist youth groups, anarchists and other leftist organizations declared themselves responsible for the banking storm. Numerous non-governmental organizations criticized the violence. Police responded with batons and tear gas. 59 people were arrested. According to the Lebanese Red Cross, 65 people suffered minor injuries in part.

There were also demonstrations and clashes with security forces in the Lebanese city of northern Tripoli and in the Lebanese port city of southern Saida. Major major streets were blocked with seat blocks, trash bins or burning tires. From a tire fire in the Aschrafiye district of Beirut, a column of black smoke rose in the sky over Beirut.

The protests that began in October due to an economic and financial crisis had diminished during the Christmas and New Year holidays. Now he is back with all his strength, a protester who was not mentioned by name told reporters. If there was no new government in 48 hours, the actions would be expanded.

University professor Hassan Diab currently has the task of forming the government. He wants to form a government composed of technocrats, which has the support of the vast majority of the population. It is questionable how the political power blocs that have been divided in Lebanon since the civil war (1975-1990) react according to religious affiliation.

The last parliamentary elections in May 2018 had won an alliance around Hezbollah, in the previous government there were four ministers near Hezbollah. To preserve the religious proportion among Christians, Sunnis and Shiites, as well as peace within Lebanon, the Sunni Muslim Saad Hariri was re-elected prime minister despite high electoral losses. With the beginning of the protests, Hariri resigned, now acts as a supporter of the protest movement.

The population accuses the political leadership, which corresponds mainly to the financial elite of the country, of having enriched themselves with the people's money. By order of the central bank, banks blocked private accounts with foreign currency (US dollars, euros) and account holders can only withdraw a small amount in foreign currency per week. Transfers abroad are prohibited, transactions from abroad to Lebanon are also subject to payment blockage. The Lebanese pound, which was previously linked to the US dollar at 1,500 pounds, has fallen to 2,400 pounds against the US dollar.

On Wednesday morning, Hamra was calm. The stores opened as usual. Broken windows in the banks were removed, new surveillance cameras were installed and damage was suffered. New protests were expected at night. Source: https://aitrus.info/ KRAS -AIT,

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