‘Bread riots’ erupt in Beirut after govt. announces basic goods subsidies to end soon


Protest erupted in Beirut as the head of the country’s central bank earlier said the subsidies on flour, fuel and medicines could not continue beyond the next two months.

Demonstrators blocked roads in the Lebanese capital and burned tyres in the city centre while some protesters attempted to reach the parliament building.

The hashtags #lifting_of_subsidies and #Lebanon_revolts were the top trending on Twitter in Lebanon on Monday.

The central bank has been providing foreign currency to importers of goods including flour and fuel at a favourable rate as the Lebanese pound continues to decline in value during a prolonged economic crisis.

Tens of thousands of people have been pushed into poverty in the country, which has also been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak.

Earlier, UN agencies have warned of a social catastrophe for the poorest households if government subsidies for basic needs are ended.

In August, thousands of protesters stormed government ministries in the capital after a huge explosion in the port area left more than 200 people dead and thousands injured.

Many Lebanese were furious at the failure by the authorities to prevent the blast at a warehouse storing over 2,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate. The material had been seized from a ship six years ago but never moved.

The government was later forced to resign. (Source: BBC)