Beirut (TSN– Lebanon parliament’s president Nabih Berri demanded today that the government declare a state of financial emergency after the national currency was devalued by 75%.

“This is the best way to protect the Lebanese pound and contain the anger and discontent caused by the devaluation of citizens’ salaries,” Berri said.

The Government, the Central Bank, and the Association of Banks are forced to decree the financial emergency due to the fall in the exchange rate of the national currency against the US dollar.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank maintains its official exchange rate at 1,507 Lebanese pounds for every dollar, while the parallel market quotes an average of 6,200.

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“It is unsustainable for the population to be held hostage to the black market’s maneuvers in foreign exchange for the rising prices of food, medicine, and other consumer goods,” he said.

It is estimated that 90 percent of the working population obtain their wages in national currency, which is why when it comes to converting them into dollars they have been depressed to nearly 75 percent of their value.

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They have also increased by more than 50 percent of the prices of basic consumer goods plus unemployment.

This is compounded by the reduction in salaries caused by confinement to the COVID-19.

In recent days, this reality has led to a popular anti-government uprising that has resulted in vandalism and confrontations with the army and police officers.

This post was originally written for and published by teleSUR English and appears here with permission.

Image: Wikimedia Commons – RomanDeckert